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Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Profiles: suggested use-cases

On Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 7:02 AM,  <robert_weir@us.ibm.com> wrote:

Marbux wrote:

>> I would rather see Rob respond to the technical merits of what I
>> proposed rather than just asking for a check signed in blank. >> Until we get agreement that interop goes on the list of deliverables
>> and Rob starts talking about the technical  merits of interop
>> proposals, I don't think we're going to make any progress. .
> Paul, I fail to see any technical content to your proposal.  They appear to
> be merely defining the problem away without doing anything to actually help
> implementors improve interoperability.  In particular, using CDRF's
> conformance language would merely add requirements that certain forms of
> document exchange be have certain interoperability guarantees.

That's a straw man argument for avoiding the technical discussion,
Rob. I did not propose that just the CDRF conformance requirements be
specified in this TC's charter. I made it quite clear that I was after
the whole shebang other than the rules for forming compound document
formats. You mischaracterize what I propose and then shoot only at
your own mischaractization. You are ducking rather than addressing the
technical merits of my proposal.

But merely
> adding a requirement that says "Thou shalt be interoperable" does not in
> itself accomplish anything.

Sorry you misunderstood. I said I didn't think we could get consensus
before we agree that "interop" is not on the list of deliverables.
What I meant by that is that you have either shot down or evaded every
proposal I've read for any specific workplan to achieve interop and
likewise for any more specificity in the mission statement beyond
improving interoperability of ODF implementations.

I object strenuously to the lack of specificity in your proposed
language. E.g., you said you want "profiles" but you have not even
defined the term to my knowledge. I want to know what you mean by
"profiles." Do you want your vision of profiles to clearly and
unambiguously specify the conformity requirements essential to achieve
the interoperability? If you do, great, we've agreed on something. But
if your vision of profiles doesn't include the interop conformity
requirements, we are not in agreement and we have something we need to
talk about.

Another example: If improving the interoperability of ODF
implementations means to you that we are to create a set of profiles
that specifies the interop conformity requirements as above and
submits them for adoption as OASIS standards, then you and I have
agreed on something. If on the other hand, what that means to you is
an ongoing Interop Camp hackfest not directed to development of a
standard, then I have very big objections and we need to talk about

I you do not specify more clearly what you are after, then all I have
to go on is the history of IBM's prior behavior in regard to ODF
interop. That is not a trust or confidence-builder. IBM tries to kill
the messengers who file ODF interop bug reports rather than dealing
with the bugs. That is what my very intense and personal involvement
with IBM and ODF has taught me.

Your resistance to defining the goal of this TC in unambiguous terms
is an absolute barrier to consensus:

1. Tsze-lu said, 'The ruler of Wei has been waiting for you, in order
with you to administer the government. What will you consider the
first thing to be done?'

2. The Master replied, 'What is necessary is to rectify names.'

3. 'So, indeed!' said Tsze-lu. 'You are wide of the mark! Why must
there be such rectification?'

4. The Master said, 'How uncultivated you are, Yu! A superior man, in
regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve.

5. 'If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the
truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of
things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.

6. 'When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and
music will not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish,
punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not
properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.

7. 'Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he
uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be
carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires, is just
that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.'

Be a superior man, Rob.

any identifiable goal of actually achieving standards-based
interoperability. the completion of profiles profiles interoperability
or any specific goal

We would still be in the exact same boat.  I
> think you misperceive the nature of interoperability, and the practical
> problems and equally practical solutions that are needed to move us forward.

Forward toward what, Rob? And what do you mean by "interoperability."
Is it application-level interop or standards-based interop?

> I'm looking to form an ODF IIC TC in order to develop the kinds of practical
> tools needed by ODF implementors (and others) to improve conformance of  ODF
> documents and applications, and to improve interoperability among them.

This sounds like application-level interop rather than standards-based
interop. You know that there are virtually no conformance requirements
as to elements and atributes not already tested by validation against
the schema after all foreign elemtns and attributes are removed, that
is unless you want to drop back to OASIS ODF 1.0. Is there any more to
your desire for conformance testing than smoke and mirrors? Please
address what it is you propose to test that is not already tested by
validation against the schema after all foreign elments and attributes
are removed.

>  Those who are interested in this task will join in this effort, and those
> who are not will ignore it.  I see no sense in turning this into an "us
> versus them" battle.  It is only "us" here.

There is no "us" before there is consensus. My consensus requires at
minimum that you be far more specific in the mission statement for
this TC. IBM embraced and extended TTS back in the 50s and 60s. TTS
was the last word processing open standard  that I've worked with that
had competing, fully interoperable implementations. IBM has had over
four decades to achieve another open word processing standard with
competing, fully interoperable implementations.

There ain't no "us" before I see a sign that IBM is rowing toward ODF
interop rather than away from it. You have not given me that sign.

Those who participate in the
> effort already want to see interoperability improvements, so let's
> concentrate on that rather than the unnecessary task of convincing them that
> such efforts are necessary.

"Interop improvements" is neither a specific goal nor a work plan for
achieving that goal. It is a mere excuse for not disclosing either a
specific goal or a workplan for achieving that goal. I want both in
the charter and I am not unreasonable in insisting on that. Have you
never heard of Management by Objectives?

Either you have a more specific objective or you ask only for my
trust. You do not have my trust. Is that clear enough?

> I know you desperately want interoperability improvements.

Wrong. I want a standard that fully specifies the conformity
requirements essential to achieve interoperability. I want *fully*
interoperable and competing implementatiions. I want vendors competing
for my business who do not lock me into their apps. I am not alone. I
have no interest in "interoperability improvements." It is a
meaningless phrase.

 But at times you
> remind me of a drowning swimming, grabbing and clinging to his rescuer,
> risking the demise of both.

I will not respond in kind but your invitation did not go unnoticed.

 I think we want the same things here, Paul.

If we do want the same things, then we should have no difficulties in
arriving at consensus. It is your refusal to identify what things you
want that is my initial barrier.

> already have the major vendors involved.  Trying to turn this into a stick
> to be used against "big vendors" will only backfire and ensure that the
> effort never occurs.

Some are content with replacing a monopoly with a collusive oligopoly.
I am not. Had I never achieved success in toilet-training
multinational corporations, I might give your last words more weight.
But I have long experience in correcting corporate abuse. All that has
happened is that Microsoft is being dragged from a monopoly into an
oligopoly. I care not only about the horizontal market shared by the
the big vendors; I also care about the vertical markets where the
proverbial two guys in a garage are denied market entry by interop

Show me that IBM, Sun, and Microsoft have on their agenda interop
between the small vendors' implementations and the big vendors'
implementations. "Improving interoperability" tells me nothing other
than the fact that there is an agenda that has not been disclosed.

Best regards,

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

Universal Interoperability Council

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