DR-16-0018: WML: need sort method for special characters [for today's call]

Francis Cave francis at franciscave.com
Wed Dec 7 17:27:57 CET 2016

This simple type is only used in SML, not in WML.

The MS experts' response is technically correct, i.e. there is no reason 
why the file format should determine the sort order, since this is an 
application user interface behaviour. However the fact that the sort 
order may differ across implementations does impact upon 
interoperability, because the same spreadsheet may be rendered 
differently when opened in different implementations.

However, the text that relates to this simple type is poorly drafted, 
confusing, and appears to conflict with the SML schema.

The SML schema specifies that the default value of the attribute that 
uses this simple type (@sortMethod on element 'sortState' specified in 
§ is 'none' - see §A.2 line 155 on page 3873.

In § sortState, the description of @sortMethod does not 
enumerate the possible values of this attribute, as is generally the 
case in other attribute descriptions. There is no mention of a default 
value, and the list of Asian languages to which sort methods apply 
includes a hanging bullet, suggesting that the list may not be complete.

in §18.18.73 ST_SortMethod, the description of value 'none' does not 
state that this is the default value, but suggests that it implies that 
the default sort method be used, which could be interpreted to mean the 
same thing; this is confusing for non-native English speakers. The 
description of value 'pinYin' states quite clearly that this is the 
default method, and could be taken to imply that 'pinYin' is the default 
value. Again, this is an erroneous interpretation, but the confusion in 
non-native speakers is understandable.

The default value of the attribute @sortMethod should be specified in 
§, and should not be specified in §18.18.73. The description of 
@sortMethod in § should be improved to be consistent with the 
schema. The term "default sort method" in §18.18.73 should be expanded 
to make it clear that this is implementation-defined/dependent.


On 07/12/2016 15:43, Rex Jaeschke wrote:

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