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Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Reason and example arguing for the use of an ODF (or XML) canonical form

--- On Thu, 7/10/08, Peter Dolding <oiaohm@gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Peter Dolding <oiaohm@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Reason and example arguing for the use of an ODF (or XML) canonical form
> To: "Bart Hanssens" <bart.hanssens@skynet.be>
> Cc: "Stuart A. Yeates" <syeates@gmail.com>, oiic-formation-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org
> Date: Thursday, July 10, 2008, 9:52 PM
> On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 4:12 AM, Bart Hanssens
> <bart.hanssens@skynet.be> wrote:
> > ODF 1.1, section 1.5:
> >
> > "There are no rules regarding the elements and
> attributes that actually
> > have to be supported by conforming applications,
> except that
> > applications should not use foreign elements and
> attributes for features
> > defined in the OpenDocument schema. See also appendix
> D."
> >
> And I really hope section 1.5 gets deleted in ODF 1.2.
> It a wild west to compatibility.   Lets add something the
> format just
> different to spec enough to pass but enough that are
> competition
> cannot render it then completely not document it so we have
> to be the
> only used tool.
> For compatibility between implementations I don't see
> were we can up
> hold section 1.5 in it current state.   Either tc has to
> run a master
> list of foreign elements to check against and to give a
> fair playing
> field to everyone or we have to blanket report any foreign
> element as
> a possible compatibility issue..

Peter, I support and/or can relate to most of what I remember from your mailings. Do consider the email I just wrote: http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/oiic-formation-discuss/200807/msg00118.html . The key part is the ability for us to shift focus as the market changes, but, as well, to address today where we can get the most bang for buck.

In any case, there are many sections besides 1.5 that might be able to benefit from combing through for consistency and for precision/clarity [consider joining the "office-comment" mailing list if you haven't http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/ ]. Also, something similar to the current 1.5 would be needed in order to promote and allow for the good aspects of extensibility (see top link).

Rob also recently posted of work underway in ODF 1.2 (being undertaken by Patrick Durusau) to make the all-around language of ODF more precise. http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office-comment/200807/msg00091.html

One thing I didn't mention is that there is plenty of room outside of OASIS for us/anyone to document and shame abusers and/or to reward those doing a good job. I intend to participate in these sorts of efforts to some degree. We can keep tabs on badly (or un-) documented foreign tags we come across as well as misbehaving implementations. Ultimately, we can even work on alternatives to ODF, but I don't see much of a need for that in the immediate future. The current standard is improving and being watched over. The potential market that can arise from good interop is very vast. This potential, the many eyeballs and watchdogs paying attention, and the competition from rival formats (each of which benefits from perceived interop) should keep ODF improving for our benefit into the foreseeable future.


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