OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

oiic-formation-discuss message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]

Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Interoperability versus Conformity

"David Gerard" <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote on 06/11/2008 09:53:33 AM:

> 2008/6/11  <robert_weir@us.ibm.com>:
> > From the study I've done of the topic, the greatest source of visual
> > interoperability problems today, with the ODF implementations out there, is
> > not from any defect in the ODF standard.  It is caused by incomplete/partial
> > implementations of the standard, where a particular feature is implemented
> > partially, or not implemented at all.  With the way document layout works, a
> > small failure in a single feature can have a global effect in the document,
> > shifting lines, pages, figures, around.  Small failures can make a large
> > difference.  This is a kind of problem that lends itself well to testing, to
> > profiling and to working with vendors toward improvements.
> Do you or someone have a list of these? Sounds like an excellent start
> on an ODF Acid Test. And, of course, a good checklist of what features
> an ODF writer needs to implement in what order.

We didn't have a formal report-out from that workshop, but I can point you to the materials we used.

Here's the link:  http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/odf_camp.html

We had participation from OpenOffice, Symphony, KOffice, Sept Solutions (Symbian implementation of ODF viewer), AbiWord, Google Docs, even MS Word, via the CleverAge plugin (with Novell's assistance).

As homework, each participant was given the same 4 PDF documents, each one illustrating a typical modern business document.  Each of the documents had a particular point that made them interest, such as use of form fields, or mathematical equations, or interactions between numbered lists and tables.  But the examples were not especially crafted to be cutting edge.  We weren't making an Acid test where we expected everyone to fail.  We wanted to see some success as well as room for improvement.

Each participant took the PDF file and then recreated it in their ODF editor, from scratch.  At the workshop we then exchanged all of the documents and took turns loading them in each word processor.  So for example, Sun went up to the front of the room, showed us their version of document-1 and then loaded the versions created by each of the other word processors, document-1-ibm, document-1-koffice, document-1-google, etc.  We tried all the interoperability paths we had time for.

The exact data collected then is now out of date (then was OpenOffice 2.3 and KOffice 1.6 and Symphony beta 1.  Now we're at OpenOffice 3.0 beta, KOffice 2.0 beta, and Symphony 1.0 has recently been released), but I think the general observations are still reasonable:

1) Biggest cause of interoperability problems was incomplete implementations of the ODF standard.

2) A large contributing factor was user behavior.  This may sound odd, but indeed there are certain things a document author can do that will make interoperability near impossible.  For example one of the sample documents required a page header with a right aligned page number.  One of the documents was prepared by someone who, instead of using the alignment feature (he couldn't find it in the menu, decided to mimic alignment by adding 50 or so spaces to put the page number visually where you thought it look good.  But when loaded in other editors, the page number was misplaced, sometimes wrapping over to the next line.

We've had some preliminary discussions on whether we want to hold a similar event at OpenOffice.org Conference 2008, in Beijing, and it seems likely.

Now there is a relationship between that kind of workshop and our present efforts.  I'd much rather have the implementors of ODF gather in Beijing and be focusing their effort on evaluating their implementations against a draft version of the "OASIS Conformance Assessment for ODF 1.1" than playing around with 4 documents with no particular significance or traceability to the standard.


[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]