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Subject: [Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Reference implementation. Layout perfect.]

oops, forgot to make sure the list was addressed...
--- Begin Message ---
robert_weir@us.ibm.com wrote:
> Or just do it by manual inspection.  There are ways of making that 
> approach tractable.

I am hesitant to introduce manual tests.  Doing so introduces a very 
subjective input from humans.  A pleasing shade of red to me, may be 
jarring to you.  An interpretation of an output may be fine for me, but 
may fail for you.  The results are NOT definitive.  You attempt to 
address this by implying we'd need many eyes/testers and then taking the 
common deviants.  This adds costs.  Not just financial, but time/effort, 
resources, etc.

If we can define the rules that say a document/spreadsheet/presentation 
either passes or fails a specific test, then we *should* be able to 
write code to implement that rule.  HOW we do that is well, irrelevant I 
think.  I don't think this TC is here to build the tools, but only to 
define them.  (building some samples would be handy though).  Of course, 
as the convener/director of the TC you are free to correct me here. :)

If we can boil the testing routine down to code (or a set of rules that 
can be coded), then we accomplish a number of things:
- indiscriminate and fair testing.  i.e. no favortism
- removal of administrative overhead
- easy testing.  volunteers/workers don't need to be organized, results 
collated, etc.
- Efficient testing. volunteers/workers don't need to be organized, 
results collated, etc.  Resulting in a much more frequent 
testing/revisions (hopefully).

An ODF document is ultimately a bunch of data organized according to the 
rules of the ODF standard.  If we cannot properly define the rules that 
say if that document conforms to the standard well, or is done in a way 
so that it interoperates with other applications well, then we cannot 
write any code.  Which means that all testing is manual and subjective. 
  Which means the testing is more or less meaningless.  Subjective means 
a moving target.

My thoughts.


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