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Subject: Caution and Disclaimer on Interoperability

I just joined today, so please excuse if I am
repeating material or am a bit off topic.

"Interoperability" and similar terms should be defined
precisely and conspicuously.

In particular, I think a note should be made that
interoperability does NOT mean that what an office
suite user visually sees and then saves using one
"interoperable" or "conformant" application can be
rendered faithfully on another such conformant

I make this last statement because I truly doubt that
ODF will ever be tied down enough to prevent one
application, designated as "interoperable" according
to the ODF standard, from arbitrarily inserting binary
blobs (or an equivalent mapping into printable
characters, CDATA, PCDATA, etc) into the document as a
way to store arbitrary proprietary content, arbitrary
proprietary application or platform state, arbitrary
proprietary semantics, etc, bypassing the preferred
ODF structures (if there even exist any in the
particular case).

Hopefully, a note can be added that open source is
required for "true interoperability", at least
interoperability at a level that is at all what most
users of most ODF "interoperable" products would
expect when they see or hear that word tossed around.

The working group may even want to require that in
order to legally carry some logo or make a claim of
being interoperable, that a particular disclaimer
along the above lines be stated (listed...) somewhat

Instead, maybe the above disclaimer can be made a
requirement only for certain classes of products, for
example, for a product generally expected to be used
by (or directly sold to) a less technically savvy
group of users.

Jose Lorenzo


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