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Subject: Re: [opendocument-users] simple OO.org document goes awry in MS Office2007 w/SP2 - what went wrong?

marbux <marbux@gmail.com> wrote on 06/17/2009 04:30:49 PM:

> Re: [opendocument-users] simple OO.org document goes awry in MS 
> Office 2007 w/SP2 - what went wrong?
> On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 6:18 AM, Jan Wildeboer<jwildebo@redhat.com> 
> > Marbux,
> >
> > Polemics aside - the Plugfest idea is not unique. Look up "NFS
> > Connectathon".
> >
> > Interoperability is not a given thing. It needs work, communication 
> > support.
> >
> > The standard will never answer all questions. And if it would, it 
> > help innovation.
> >
> > It's a delicate balance. It is not black and white.
> I would have no issues with having plugfests if any mechanisms had
> been established for ensuring that the knowledge gained from the
> plugfests made its way into spec improvements and the  ODF TC had work
> items on its agenda for specifying the conformity requirements that
> are essential to achieve interoperability in ODF 1.2, ODF 1.1.and IS
> 26300. But we have no such mechanisms and those work items don't
> exist.

Again, you are presuming that the problems found stemmed from ambiguities 
in the standard. I stated up front that I was there ready and willing to 
enter a  defect report against ODF for any defect found, instantly on the 
spot at the plugfest.  But the only two issues that came up related to the 
standard were ones that we already knew about and already had a proposal 
for ODF 1.2 on.  I know you wish that reality would be more supportive of 
your argument, but it does not seem to oblige you in this matter.  Maybe 
next time.

> OASIS ODF 1.0 has 7,415 mandatory requirements, nearly all of them
> interoperability requirements. IS 26300 has 207 and all mention of
> interoperability was stripped from it. ODF 1.1 has 224 requirements,
> and ODF 1.2 committee draft 1 has 272. (Stats I developed.)  If you
> check the OIC TC Charter that Rob drafted, he's so desperate for
> something to base conformance on that one deliverable is "A conformity
> assessment methodology specification, detailing how each provision
> *and recommendation* in the ODF standard may be tested for
> conformance." <http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/oic/charter.php>.
> But recommendations have nothing whatsoever to do with conformance.

Of course we should design tests for the should's as well as the shall's. 
Most standards have recommendations and they are worth testing,  in the 
same way that compiling code with a higher warning level is a good 
practice.  Remember, in a voluntary standards system, a "shall" is a 
matter of conformance, not compliance.  It is merely definitional.  The 
only difference between your 7,415 and 207 numbers is the difference 
between the ISO and IETF definitions of "should".  This is counting angels 
on a pinhead if you ask me.  This is all a paper fiction, since not a 
single line of code in any application that supported OASIS ODF 1.0 
changed when ISO/IEC 26300 was approved.  If no line of code changed, then 
there was zero user impact on interoperability.

> Against the 272 mandatory requirements in ODF 1.2 CD 1, we have ~
> 3,915 options and recommendations, each masking a hard-coded "shall"
> or "shall not" programming decision in the full featured
> implementations. One might as well say that we have ~ 3.915 interop
> breakpoints

What you fail to note is that conformance with the Relax NG schema is a 
single "shall" in the text of the standard, but itself comprises over 1000 
specific requirements, expressed in a formal notation.  For an XML-based 
document format, I'd expect that most constraints would be expressed this 
way. In fact some constraints that were expressed in the specification 
text in ODF 1.1 are now expressed as schema type constraints in the ODF 
1.2 draft.  This is a good thing, but by your distorted calculus would be 
reported as a lessening of interoperability.


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