The CALS table format for XML is one that is widely used and very capable, and it has been in use for many years. It is capable, but complex. In this paper we describe its capabilities before moving on to the challenges of finding change between two tables that, ideally, have the same basic structure but in reality can be very different in structure and content.
Impossible problems that need to be solved are not uncommon, especially in engineering. The trick is to simplify the problem so that it can be solved and then, as far as possible, introduce some of the complexity back into the simplified solution. Restricting ourselves to comparing tables as XML markup may be useful to the technical user but is less satisfactory when looking at the rendered result, and it is this rendered result that is of interest now to the majority of users, who tend to be less technical. This paper explores a better approach.