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Subject: Re: [office] Using pictures and examples in the spec

<office@lists.oasis-open.org> wrote on 04/01/2013 06:48:42 PM:

> Hi all,
> there are a lot of problems in the specification of graphic objects. It
> is often difficult to describe unambiguous, how a shape must look. The
> specification of SVG solves this problems by giving examples and
> pictures how this example looks. In addition there exists a large set of
> tests.
> The specification of ECMA Office Open XML has some illustrations too in
> its normative part and some in its informative appendix L.
> What do you think about using XML snippets and pictures in the ODF
> specification?

Generally there is a preference for defining clearly things rather than giving examples, where at all possible.  Specifying something and then giving examples is a practice that has the potential for introducing additional ambiguities.  You can also run into situations where the examples and the specification contradict each other.  OpenXML had that issue in their formula spec, for example.

But we can certainly use illustrations to specify things.  In some cases this is the most appropriate way to do it.

A good reference for things like this is "ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, Rules for the structure and drafting of International Standards":

http://isotc.iso.org/livelink/livelink?func=ll&objId=4230456&objAction=browse&sort=subtype says "Figures should be used when they are the most efficient means of presenting information in an easily comprehensible form" and then goes on to give additional guidance.



> Kind regards
> Regina
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