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Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Reason and example arguing for the use of an ODF (or XML) canonical form

--- On Sat, 7/5/08, Simon Calderson <caldersons@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> From: Simon Calderson <caldersons@yahoo.co.uk>
> Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Reason and example arguing for the use of an ODF (or XML) canonical form
> To: oiic-formation-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org
> Date: Saturday, July 5, 2008, 1:09 PM
> jose lorenzo <hozelda@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > I hadn't realized that an assumption deemed
> necessary in order for this 
> > venture to have success would be that all market
> players (including the
> > monopolist) cooperate fully.
> Just to be clear, I wasn't advocating that assumption.
> What I do say is actually two things:

I agree with your comment but not completely.

> And the corollary of that is that I believe it's just a
> waste of time concentrating on features which
> "force" interoperability. It's not going to

Precision in wording is important to make your intentions clear. What do you want "conformance" to mean? For example, it is an intention that X not be violated to be considered a conforming app or document. Conforming status is not doled out freely to anyone that asks for it. Why? Why "force" interoperability, as you say? Why not just give out free "conformance" certificates?

I clearly remember Sun not letting Microsoft off the hook when Microsoft was experimenting with their flavor of Java. Contractual obligations of that nature don't apply here, but I personally would want "conforming app" to mean something. I would want users relying on that to have confidence that an app claiming conformance and in fact meeting the ODF definition of conformance in practice will do something close to what you will expect. Loopholes may not be something that can be eliminated completely, but each loophole does allow a vendor to violate the spirit of "conformance" while meeting the definition in the text.

[Says the app to the customer] "Hey, I meet the guidelines of conformance (but I don't do what you think I do)."

So to me, this is significant. It's about the integrity of labels in the market. Of course, a good market will develop their own labels and the trustworthy accreditation service providers will make a name for themselves. So will ODF/OASIS vocab mean something that can be trusted? It may not matter, I suppose, to the extent someone else will pick up the slack and gain trust and recognition in the marketplace. Let someone else build the good accurate definitions and brand, I suppose.

> ...This
> new TC cannot force people to interoperate: only market
> forces will do that.

So to wrap up, accreditation and the meeting of the wording of standards (like "conformance") affects the market, as it helps define it. Personally, I wouldn't allow my brand to become diluted if I cared about the product and brand. "Jose Conformance" will mean something. I won't "force" you to be conformant, but I also won't give you the honor of "legally" claiming you are when you clearly are not in spirit. That's Jose Conformance for ya.


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