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Subject: RE: [oiic-formation-discuss] Proposal for Charter Requirements section, was Which is definitive odf?


I realize that you are, in fact, a lawyer.  That said, I must point out that the words "legal" and "illegal" rely on context.  In the United States, it is illegal to make a copy of a song into MP3 format, despite the 'fair-use' provisions of the U.S. Copyright Laws.  Such laws do not exist in Bahrain (I was stationed there for Operation Desert Shield).  So, the definition of "legal" and "illegal" must be declared before declaring something as "illegal".  Then again, why would I need to lecture a lawyer on the definition of the terms "legal" and "illegal", since I would presume they were defined in your first year of law school?  Since that actually goes beyond my understanding of the scope of this list, I will let the discussion leader rule on that one.

As far as saying that someone is using an illegal version of software that has not been standardized, well, since the standards board has not even truly been formed yet, how can you say what the standard is or will be?  If I want to use a wireless router with 'draft-N' (802.11n draft X.y) before it has been approved as a standard, I do so at my own risk, knowing that my hardware may be obsolete when the standard is finally ratified.  I didn't break any laws by buying it.  The manufacturer did not break any laws by selling it - as long as he made clear that what I bought was not accepted as the standard and my hardware may be rendered incompatible when the standard is finally approved.  So is my hardware illegal?  No.  Is it an accepted standard?  No.  Does that matter if it works for me, yet still works with other hardware at some level?  No.  That said, your missive does contain worthwhile suggestions.  Your proposed requirement of conformance is a good one.  

One of the points of the 'profile' should be a minimum set of standards that will allow an implementation to be certified at that level.  For example, take a look at the Java specifications.  The API specifications do not say that a String MUST be implemented a certain way.  They do say that a String MUST be able to do certain things, however.  That is my understanding of this list's purpose - to set up a group to deal with what the ODF can and cannot do, and to set minimum standards for interoperability.  Again, I defer to the discussion leader for his input.

Garry L. Hurley Jr.
Application Developer 2
Office of Information Technology - Bureau of Application Development
PA Department of Labor & Industry
651 Boas Street, Harrisburg, PA 17121 
Phone: 717.506.9373 (UCMS) or 717.346.9799 (Harrisburg)  Fax: 717.506.0798  Mobile: 717.649.0597
www.dli.state.pa.us <http://www.dli.state.pa.us>

My comments do not reflect those of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, its various agencies and departments, or its citizens.  They are my own, and may or may not be shared by those in positions of authority over me.

-----Original Message-----
From: marbux [mailto:marbux@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, June 16, 2008 2:36 PM
To: oiic-formation-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [oiic-formation-discuss] Proposal for Charter Requirements
section, was Which is definitive odf?


On Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 7:23 AM, Dave Pawson <dave.pawson@gmail.com> wrote:
> Looking at 1.1 on the Oasis site,
> http://www.oasis-open.org/specs/index.php#opendocumentv1.1
> a number of different formats are offered.
> Which is the definitive standard definition please?
> Anyone know?
> 3 versions are offered.


It's even worse than the particular muddle you ask about because even
which version of ODF is the definitive version depends on legal
context. In the nations signatory to the Agreement on Technical
Barriers to Trade and the Agreement on Government Procurement, all
levels of government are required to use the ISO/IEC:26300 version of
Open document as their technical regulations,and procurement
specification if they want to specify ODF for their purposes.

In the non-governmental sector, ODF 1.1 is a standard than may
lawfully  be specified.

The comedy/tragedy is that all of the most featureful ODF
implementations  moved on without retaining the ability to write to
ISO/IEC:26300. What's out there in the real world is somewhere between
ODF 1.1 and ODF 1.2, which is not yet finished and with Microsoft
joining the ODF TC to work on that version, I'll be really surprised
if there are not major changes to the draft ODF v. 1.2.

Bottom  line: Any governments in the member nations using current
versions of the most featureful ODF apps are doing so illegally.

Proposed Charter Requirement -- Conformance requirement for all profile work

All profiles submitted to OASIS for adoption as a standard shall
clearly and unambiguously require that a conforming implementation of
the profile shall provide the user and user agent with the ability to
write to all earlier adopted versions of such profile at the option of
the user or user agent and shall enable the user or user agent to set
any earlier adopted version of the profile as the default profile of
that profile type.

Best regards,

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. (Marbux)

Universal Interoperability Council

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