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Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Open formula group, and getting ahead ofourselves?

"Dave Pawson" <dave.pawson@gmail.com> wrote on 06/22/2008 04:31:32 AM:

> Just had a quick look at the latest open formula group output.
> For many of the functions I see such as:
> Syntax: MIDB( Text T ; BytePosition Start ; ByteLength Length )
> The pseudotypes ByteLength and BytePosition are Integers, but their
> exact meanings and values are not further defined by this
> specification.
> I.e. for (some part) of the spec a function is defined and each term
> of the function is refined. Not exactly a formal grammar, but nodding
> in that direction.
> If there's anyone on this group also on the formula group, how
> might we suggest they consider testability for their syntax statements?

You can send comments on the OpenFormula draft to the ODF public comment list.  I know that David Wheeler, chair of that subcommittee, monitors that list.

An overall to-do item for ODF 1.2 is to express on syntax formally in EBNF form.  This should be testable, though it would require some custom coding.  For example, a SAX parser that catches all spreadsheet formula attributes and then passes the formulas to a syntax checker, perhaps based on lex/yacc to ensure it matches the EBNF productions.


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