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Subject: RE: [opendocument-users] RE: Foreign elements and attributes

Hello Jose,

1. With regard to your question about conformance classes below the "pure"
level (we stopped using strict because it is apparently a term of art that
is apparently stricter than the ODF TC intends) which is unfortunately
simply called "conformant".  Since people find it necessary to use a
qualified term, as you did, we should probably pick an official
qualification although neither "pure" nor "minimal" nor even "non-extended"
are strictly accurate as ODF 1.2 is currently defined in draft.

2. There is no meaningful floor conformance level, and there never has been.

   2.1 The OASIS ODF 1.1 Standard specification has this intriguing
sentence: "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" (last paragraph of section 1.5).
There's a reference to ODF 1.1 Appendix D, but that has no normative effect.

   2.2 The current ODF 1.2 Committee Draft that people have been discussing
asserts (section 1.4.4 Consumer Conformance statement P1.1) that a
Conforming Open Document Consumer "SHALL be able to parse and interpret
OpenDocument documents of one or more of the document types defined by this
specification (section 2.4) any of which are represented in packages, but it
NEED NOT interpret the semantics of all elements, attributes and attribute
values."  (Document types are not explicitly defined in 2.4, or anywhere
else, but that is a different problem.)  

3. You may find it useful to know that there is a companion OASIS ODF
Interoperability and Conformance (OIC) TC that is struggling to discern what
the state of ODF interoperability and conformance is and what can be done to
provide test definitions and other clarifications, including defined
profiles, to improve that state.  There's more at 
<http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/oic>.  The charter for the OIC TC
shows promise for addressing some of your concerns.

It's not clear that the OIC TC, started up at the end of 2008, can provide
useful results fast enough to influence ODF 1.2 in any significant way.  

 - Dennis

This message is my personal observation and any similarity to an official
position of the ODF TC or of OASIS is purely coincidental.  Were there such
an official position, there'd be provision of a link to the official minutes
or other approved document where the official position is expressed.

Dennis E. Hamilton
NuovoDoc: Design for Document System Interoperability 
mailto:Dennis.Hamilton@acm.org | gsm:+1-206.779.9430 
http://NuovoDoc.com http://ODMA.info/dev/ http://nfoWorks.org  

-----Original Message-----
From: jose lorenzo [mailto:hozelda@yahoo.com] 
Sent: Saturday, March 07, 2009 14:48
To: Alex Brown
Cc: ODF Users List
Subject: RE: [opendocument-users] RE: Foreign elements and attributes

--- On Wed, 3/4/09, Alex Brown <alexb@griffinbrown.co.uk> wrote:

[ ... ]

> (3) The "pure" conformance class allows implementations to
> ignore
> features: a conforming consumer "need not interpret the

I'm just tuning in, but has it been suggested to have subsets of the strict
conformance class? This way a calculator can very adequately deal with only
a special subset of ODF and a writer app likewise with a different subset.

I think the most useful scenario is to have multiple strict conformance
classes (from subsets of ODF): very well defined mandatory rules for subsets
instead of leaving things in the air allowing apps to ignore tags and

[ ... ]

I don't know how the strict class was defined, but I do think you can
specify the allowed behavior of all parts of an XML conformance class fairly
precisely using English. It won't be perfect, of course, and I don't know
enough to say whether I think ODF as currently defined is precise
(consistent, etc) enough. Conformance tests, maintenance/errata, many
official code examples, etc, would go a long way to helping everyone get on
the same page.

[ ... ]

As a side bonus, attempting this feat (of interop/ high level conformance)
in earnest will help ferret out some types of problems with the ODF spec.
Not to try means "interop" is likely to be much worse than we would
initially hope.

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