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ODF Repaired Change Tracking, Protected Change Tracking, and Blue Sky Office

From: Dennis E. Hamilton <dennis.hamilton@acm.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 18:19:16 -0700
To: <public-change@w3.org>
Message-ID: <009601cfd53a$104858f0$30d90ad0$@acm.org>
I provided two papers to the DChanges 2014 Workshop as described on the CTMarkup Wiki, 


This is about the conditions that apply to WYSIWYG editing in personal/office-productivity software products and the ways that the standards for the document-file formats OOXML and ODF do not provide for interoperability after all (the anti-pattern).  The proposed remedy, in the case of ODF change-tracking interoperability, is via a proposal for ODF 1.2 Repaired Change-Tracking (RCT).  RCT is accomplished, from my point of view, by creating a profile whereby simple Extended OpenDocument documents carve out a zone of ODF usage that has dependable change-tracking interoperability.

The paper is not available and when a post-workshop update of the paper is peer-reviewed and available, it will probably be behind the ACM Digital Library paywall.

However, the actual development of RCT will be carried out on web pages.  One entry page to RCT work is at <http://nfoworks.org/rct>.  A companion development, a fictitious Blue Sky Office WYSIWYG editor (BSO), is employed for explanatory purposes in the RCT specification.  One entry page to the definition of BSO is at <http://nfoworks.org/bso>.


Protected Change-Tracking (PCT) is about ways to have protected and digitally-signed documents that serve as forms or other turnaround documents.  The signature prevents tampering with the protection and does not risk discovery of any memorable password, setting the protections using random thrown-away keys.  Changes are, in the PCT case, by capturing incremental change information in a package with the original and digitally-signing the combination.  This can continue through any number of cycles as there are further changes and signings.

A refinement of the paper will eventually be available under the same conditions as the anti-pattern RCT one. And development will continue on the web, this time with entry point at <http://nfoworks.org/pct>.


These papers and the work is all about personal-productivity document software and their interchange document files.  Attention is entirely on interoperability across platforms and software implementations.  This may be at a level that is distinct from the focus of the CTMarkup Community Group.  It might be useful, however, to indicate how tricky it is to deal with these particular uses of XML as a medium.

If you visit the web site, you will see that much of the material is very sketchy and skeletal, with a great deal remaining to be filled in.

I started working on RCT at the beginning of May.  I had no intention of submitting anything to DChanges.  It hadn't entered my mind until one of the organizers encouraged members of this list to contribute.  That completely diverted my attention to development of the papers and presentations, along with distraction by PCT in mid-July.  Between then and now I have been completely immersed in the development, submission, review, resubmission process, along with the development of presentations for the workshop itself.  As a result, the demands of providing papers did very much focus my attention and develop my thinking.  The workshop discussions were also inspiring.  But I must now apply all of that.

Following some time to decompress and attend to other duties that were set-aside, I will resume work at the web-site level by the beginning of October and continue through the remainder of 2014.  I don't expect the work to be completed that quickly, but there should be visible indication of progress and better explanation of what it is all about.

Wish me luck,

 -- Dennis E. Hamilton
    dennis.hamilton@acm.org    +1-206-779-9430
    https://keybase.io/orcmid  PGP F96E 89FF D456 628A
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Received on Sunday, 21 September 2014 01:19:43 UTC

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