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Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Deliverable: odf-diff?

Dave Pawson wrote:
> 2008/6/20 Sander Marechal <sander.marechal@tribal-im.com>:
>> At one point we were also discussing various interop issues and possible
>> testing tools. One of the things that came out of there is that we'd really
>> like a tool that can compare/diff two ODF documents. Unzipping the ODF file
>> and using an XML diff tool is insufficient.
> In which case your interpretation of 'different' needs clarity Sander?

Most definitely. I'm a developer, a tech person. I'm not much of a 
wordsmith. If I can get my point across then I hope someone else can run 
with it and write a "proper" definition :-)

>  For example: I could change the
>> name of a style on a paragraph and also change that name in the styles.xml
>> and functionally, the two documents should still be the same even though an
>> XML diff tool says they're different.
> <chuckles/> Are you talking about 'visually' different?

No, not just visually. You're quite right that metadata changes should 
show as well. For the load&save example I gave, the only difference 
between the document should probably be "last edited" or "last saved" or 
"last edited with application X" fields. To give a better example:

Someone on this list mentioned that an application can rename all of the 
automatic styles however it feels like when it saves a file. An ODF diff 
tool should take this into account when comparing the two files. The 
names of the automatic styles may have changed, but as long as elements 
are still pointing to the same style and the style itself is unchanged 
(e.g. it's still bold itaclics 20pth with tabstops) then it should say 
the files are identical.

Another example: The order of elements in the manifest.xml doesn't 
matter. As long as all the files are referenced. So if application Foo 
outputs a document that puts the images in the manifest in the order in 
whichthey appear in the document, and application Bar outputs a document 
that puts them in alphabetical order, the two documents are still the same.

>> Could such a tool be put on the list of deliverables? Or is such a thing way
>> too specific to put in there?
> Probably, if you can define it.

That's going to be tough I fear :-( It will be hard work to figure out 
what things can change in an ODF file that do not have any impact on 
anything. That something the TC should do, not us. That's why I'd like 
to add such a deliverable. It's mainly a mattter of how you describe it.

Sander Marechal

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