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Subject: Re: [office] Formula Sub Committee Draft Charter

"David A. Wheeler" <dwheeler@dwheeler.com> wrote on 01/23/2006 08:12:44 PM:

> now is a good time to discuss the spreadsheet
> formulas issue.  I think we actually all have the
> same basic goals; we just need to work out how to make it happen.  The
> main issue, to me, is to just close a few legal loopholes.
> Once that's straightened out, I think that things should go very well.

To me, this is the fundamental issue.  There is no guarantees that there will ever be a resolution, within OASIS, to the OpenFormula IPR concerns.  Therefore, a Formula Subcommittee that waits for the resolution of those OpenFormula IPR issues has no guarantees that it will make any progress.  Its progress would be contingent on forces outside of the control of the TC, and I find that unacceptable.  If the TC creates a subcommittee, it desires it to accomplish the tasks in its charter.  So, I'm strongly inclined to vote for a subcommittee charter which would call for the development of a formula specification specifically to be included in the ODF specification.  

I agree with you that the inclusion of OpenFormula is the most desirable outcome here.  But let's resolve this here and now.  Keep in mind that the TC has absolutely no ability, under OASIS Policy, to change one word in OASIS IPR.  So, any special dispensation for OpenFormula would need to come from the OASIS Board of Directors.  You are now a full, voting OASIS member, representing an OASIS member organization, so you have as much an opportunity to raise issues to the Board as any of us.

So, I'd like to propose something which I hope will balance your interest in resolving the OpenFormula IPR question with the desire, felt by many of us, to get this moving:   The TC waits N weeks before creating the Formula Subcommittee.  If during those N weeks, the IPR issues between OpenFormula and OASIS are resolved to your satisfaction, then you contribute the OpenFormula draft to the TC and a Subcommittee is chartered to refine that document.  But if after N weeks, no resolution is achieved, then the TC instead charters a Formula Subcommittee to proceed with developing a formula language, without reference to OpenFormula.

Is there any value of N in the above proposal which you would find satisfactory?  In other words, are you willing to make a best-attempt at convincing and turning around OASIS on this point, but then, after a certain date, be willing to cut your losses and make up lost time on the Subcommittee if that fails? I'd be pleased if we all agreed on the general outline of the above proposal, but differed in preferences for N.  That at least gives a point for negotiation.  In the end, I'm willing to be open minded, but not willing to be open ended.

So, what's your N?


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