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Subject: Concerns about the way of formula standardization

Dear OpenDocument TC members,

with interest I follow the discussion about the formula sub committee. 
In my opinion this is a very important task, but I've some concerns 
about the 'OpenDocument Spreadsheet Formula Sub Committee (FSC) Draft 
Charter', because it contains already important conditions which in my 
opinion should be carefully elaborated by the sub committee itself.

My concerns:
1.) Why should this formula format be for spreadsheets only? Isn't it be 
possible to make the syntax universally enough to use it in other kinds 
of applications too?
Some example applications, where such formulas could be useful too:
-Calculations in text processor tables
-Calculations in web applications with data from a database
-Calculations inside a webpage (data downloaded from a different source 
than the webpage that contains the formula)

2.) Why define the formula as 'value of the table:formula attribute'. Is 
a string really the best way to store structured information like a formula?
I would suggest to split the format into three sub formats:
-A container format which describes the structure of the formula
-A set of mathematical operators
-A operand format which either contain the data or reference to the data 
(This should not be restricted to coordinates of spreadsheet cells, it 
should encapsulate any usual way to get internal and external data - 
e.g. SQL, SOAP, result values of local programs and scripts)

3.) One of the great things on the OpenDocument format is, that it's 
defined independent from the existing data structures or user interface 
of a specific application. Please continue this level of abstraction 
with the formula specification and define only the storage format. Keep 
it independent of the expression that the user will see in the user 
interface of an Excel like application.

Regards Jörg Wartenberg

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