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tax-xbrl-liaison message

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Subject: Rendering (Public), Formula (Public)and Versioning (Internal-only)

XBRL has published new or updated versions of specifications or technical documentation of Rendering (public), Formula (public) and Versioning (internal only) documents. These represent the #1, #2 and #4 priorities (#3 relating to XBRL's Global Ledger Framework) we provided to XBRL in our letter of August 18, 2006.

We can consider how we individually or jointly can respond with feedback.

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The Rendering Working Group of XBRL International has published the first Public Working Draft (PWD) of the Rendering Requirements Document. It will be found at http://www.xbrl.org/SpecRequirements/. 
This document sets out the requirements for a standardised method for the rendering of XBRL instance documents in human readable form.  It defines the specific features which such a standardised method should support and provides examples and use cases to illustrate these features.  
Requirements centre on the content and structure of the displayed data.  They do not cover presentational features such as font, colours, graphics and similar items.  These are the province of specialist rendering applications.
Comments from all those interested in the rendering of XBRL documents are eagerly sought.
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The Formula Working Group of XBRL International has published the second Public Working Draft (PWD) of the Formula 1.0 Specification. It will be found at http://www.xbrl.org/SpecPWDs/. You would probably do best to read the Overview Document first - this is at http://www.xbrl.org/Specification/XBRL-Formulas-Overview-PWD-2007-07-13.rtf
The feedback received from the first Public Working Draft has played a very important part in providing the necessary input for this important update. In particular new filters have been introduced including dimensional and implicit filters.
This is a complicated specification - understanding it can be made easier by also reviewing a tutorial produced by Herman Fischer, one of the members of the Working Group. This is located at http://herm.ws/XBRL/files/docs/FormulaTutorial.ppt - but please note that this tutorial is NOT part of the draft and is NOT an XBRL International product, but is entirely the work of Mr. Fischer.
Items not addressed in this PWD include:
        - A function registry or any mechanism to develop user defined functions
        - Validation or any other usage patterns
        - Formula chaining
Feedback is eagerly sought from all those who have an interest in this very important piece of functionality. This includes, to name but a few:
    - engineers and technical architects with a firm grounding in XML Schema, XPath and XLink; 
    - regulators, banks and others collecting large amounts of financial and performance information who will use it to impose complex validation rules to both improve the quality of data that arrives and automate the promulgation of those rules so that they can be executed in a distributed manner; 
    - professional analysts, broker/dealers, hedge and mutual funds as well as a wide range of financial infomediaries who will will use the formula specification to define proprietary analytics that can be used to add value to raw performance information.
In other words, if you're reading this, you probably have a need to use this specification, which probably also means that you have some valuable input to make to its development. So, please take the time to look at it and provide your input to the Formula Working Group - it will be well worth your time.
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Im glad to publish today the very first initial release of the XVS technical documentation.
You can download the document from the following URL.
Ive concentrated my efforts in the most urgent things. There are areas in which the document is still not completed but the sooner we start discussions the better to avoid wasting time.
The document contains two important parts:
1)       the part describing the algorithm for generating change paths (we will need better wording for everything)
2)       the part describing the content model of the report. All main objects are there without syntax and a small explanation about its content.
Ive followed the directives agreed during the F2F meeting at Frankfurt. The content model is similar to the NTP content model (except for the syntactical representation) and the change paths generation algorithm is closely following the ideas experienced in the IFRS approach but using a wider Infoset to cover current business requirements.
If you like the risk (as I do in this sense hehe) you can try to write software according to the algorithms described in this document and experiment with the results. Im sure we will not discover the hidden problems of a spec until it is implemented and tested. Therefore, the next steps for me are:
1)       Continue editing this document based on your feedback
2)       Start creating XBRL test cases (real ones) using small taxonomies and examples demonstrating what software has to do on every situation. Ive some test cases created by Roland (Thanks) and many others to come.
3)       Update my software so the test cases can be sent to the change paths algorithm and see the results.
4)       Because there is no syntax yet, the change paths can be represented only as objects in memory but this is enough to start testing.
As always, comments are welcome!

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