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Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] My perspective. Extensions

"Ben Baston" <bbaston@gmail.com> wrote on 07/03/2008 04:41:15 PM:

> On Jun 30, 2008 Robert Weir said:
>     > An unknown feature is defined as any content placed into an ODF
>     > document by any method without first providing or making known a
>     > public and also an unrestricted [able to be used by all without
>     > royalty or use restriction] and operable implementation of the
>     > method used being publicly and widely available to all users and
>     > implementors of ODF.
>     We are writing a TC charter, not a manifesto.
> Though I accept your guidance that changing the current ODF
> treatment of extensions is an issue for the TC of which you are co-
> chair and so is off-topic in this Discussion, I do not agree that
> objecting to allowing IP-restricted or unknown features amounts to a
> manifesto. In fact, such behavior would amount to blatant roadblocks
> to interoperability should they be used - especially in the context
> of long-term and editable data preservation.
> I note that others share this view. In particular, please see:
> standard-us-firms-go-ballistic

Yes, I am aware of this.  I am a founding member of Digistan: http://www.digistan.org/about

Think of it this way -- the charter already speaks to IP and licensing.  This is one of the most significant things that needs to be set of a new TC.  This topic came up, was discussed, and without objection it was agreed that we would propose the most liberal of OASIS's IPR modes, "RF with Limited Terms".  You can read more about this IPR mode here:  http://www.oasis-open.org/who/intellectualproperty.php

We should not be speaking to IPR conditions anywhere else in our charter except when we say we will operate under "RF with Limited Terms".  We can't freelance on this.  OASIS gives us a limited menu of IPR modes to pick from, and we cannot customize it by adding or subtracting terms.  

> and more directly an html link that references the 'European
> Interoperability Framework for pan-European eGovernment Services'
> where you can download the source pdf:

I'm familiar with that as well.

> At a minimum, please let us here consider whether the presence of
> such extensions should be checked for and, if found, be flagged as a
> warning. The final TC could study whether such behavior deserves a
> recommendation - from this TC to the appropriate one - to change ODF
> itself to disallow or discourage such behavior in the name of
> interoperability.

Although I do not think that we can read IADBC terms into ODF conformance requirements, there is nothing that would prevent someone from creating a document called "EIF Openness: A Guide for Evaluating Office Productivity Applications" or something like that.  To the extent that their framework says something definite, and is testable, then one could create such a document, and then implement these tests in compliance testing tool.  We see this happen all the time.  

For example, Ecma-370 "The ECO Declaration" specifies "environmental attributes and measurement methods for ICT and CE products according to known regulations, standards, guidelines and currently accepted practices."   So, Ecma did not just say "Everybody, be Green".  They came up with a concrete list of requirements and turned it into a standard.

That is essentially the source of my criticism of your proposal as a "manifesto".  It is not sufficient to list off a number of social or economic goals and call that a charter for a technical committee.  We need it to be leading toward something that is well-defined and testable.


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