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oiic-formation-discuss message

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

Sander Marechal <sander.marechal@tribal-im.com> wrote on 06/20/2008 01:55:23 PM:

> 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. 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. You
> could probably reorganise large parts of the styles.xml and still have
> the same document.
> You could even do basic application testing with such a tool. Load an
> ODF in some application. Save it. Compare the original with the saved
> version. They should be functionally identical.
> Could such a tool be put on the list of deliverables? Or is such a thing
> way too specific to put in there?

I think the thing to look at is the W3C's Canonical XML Recommendation: http://www.w3.org/TR/xml-c14n

This standard solves the equivalent problem for XML by defining a standardized way of expressing an XML instance, for which things like whitespace, attribute ordering, etc., are fully specified rather than allowing of variation.

Similarly, we could specify "Canonical ODF" as an extension of the W3C's Canonical XML.  Then all you need is a canonical ODF processor and then any text diff tool will work.



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