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Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Level of detail needed in a TC Charter

On Sat, Jun 14, 2008 at 12:07 AM, Dave Pawson <dave.pawson@gmail.com> wrote:
> 2008/6/13  <robert_weir@us.ibm.com>:
>> I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.  The definition given ("the
>> anticipated audience or users of the work") is what OASIS gives us.  We have
>> no ability to change that.  I'm suggesting an interpretation that seems
>> obvious enough to me.
> Which paints a picture of a real nice dictatorship.

I agree. In response to my point of order and objection, Rob bobbed
and weaved but justified his failure to rule on it by saying that
there is no chairman and no meeting, in effect that this is a
free-for-all. But Rob is certainly behaving as though he is in charge
and is making decisions for the group right and left. .Rob can't have
it both ways. If he is in charge, then his only legitimate function is
as chairman with the OASIS instruction that Robert Rules or Order
apply. If he is not in charge, he has no right or power to make these
decisions by himself.  It's just an 800-pound gorilla flexing his
muscles to get what he wants for his company.

> While there it may be politic to see if Michael is right about this quote
> ... Simply speaking, the best way to achieve interoperability between ODF
> applications is that these application implement as many of ODF as
> possible and reasonable for the specific application, and with as little
> bugs as possible...."

Dave, it might help to understand some history here. Michael Brauer is
the guy who controlled the ODF TC as the only chairman from 2002 until
last fall, when he proposed that a co-chair position be created and
Rob be elected as a co-chair. Brauer is the guy who made ODF the
interop mess it is today.  The Sun members of the TC always voted in
block to achieve Sun's desired outcome, which invariably was to make
sure that their apps stayed dominant in the market by breaking
interop. Brauer has been blocking interop initiatives on the TC since

When he says that implementing the full specification is the best way
to achieve interop, he's making a very tired excuse for not addressing
interop on the ODF TC. The ODF spec is so underspecified that it is
impossible for anyone to implement an interoperable application that
is not a clone of the OOo code base, and Sun is the only company on
the planet with the rights to  do whatever it wants with the OOo code
base, because of the code contributors' joint copyright assignment.
Sun gets unfettered ownership rights to do whatever it wants with
contributed code, but all other contributors get only joint ownership
of their own contributions and a LGPL license for the rest.

Trying to get interop provisions into the ODF 1.2 spec was like
tilting at windmills. Nobody on the TC is willing to even entertain
the subject of fixing the standard so less featureful and more
featureful implementations can round-trip documents. But so long as
ODF can't enable that, ODF is a big vendor-only show. There are at
least two ways round-tripping between less and more featureful
implementations   can be implemented. But both depend on the existence
of an interoperability framework that has been missing from ODF from
day one. The interop framework for ODF is the UNO application
componentry framework in OOo and StarOffice. But Sun did not
contribute its specs to the TC when it offered its XML specs as the
foundation for ODF.

And Sun hid the hard-coded programming decisions necessary to achieve
interop in the ODF specification in a sea of "may" and "should"
clauses and passive voice sentences that impose no requirements at
all. You might ask yourself how one is to program "may" and "should?"
Those are very unBoolean operators.

Rob is throwing his weight around to get a blank check to do whatever
the big vendors want on the new TC. But I think 40 years of failure is
long enough to declare big vendor control of file formats a failed

There are power issues that need to be settled before this TC is ever
formed. Writing the Charter before even determining market
requirements is an exercise in obfuscation. Rob's
"gotta-git-it-done-in-90-days" excuse is no better. A new formation
group can be established if the formation work isn't done in 90 days.
And I think it's far more important that the Charter remove the
exclusive control of the big vendors than it is that the Charter be
written quickly.  I think it relevant that there is nothing in the
draft charter so far about *achieving* interoperability nor any
work-plan to do so. What Rob is drafting is a blank check for yet more
big vendor abuse of standards. We can as a group take as long as is
necessary to draft a competent charter that gives the big vendors
their marching orders.

Given that Rob has now said that he is not in charge, I think folks
should call B.S. every time he acts like he is in charge. In my point
of order objection thread, Rob said:

"This is not a meeting, there is no agenda, there is no chairman.
This is a discussion list, and with 129 subscribers, it is going to be
messy. "


Rob has disclaimed all power and authority to decide what this group
of people does. When he says what we can and cannot do, he's just in
800-pound-gorilla mode. behaves as though he has that power in order
to discard what he doesn't want, he's ducking rather than addressing
the issues. My suggestion is that an appropriate response when Rob
pulls that act is to just go ahead and add your item to the web page.
It means that Rob can't come up with any better reason for opposing
your item than to act like he's the one who gets to decide.

Best regards,


Universal Interoperability Council

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