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Subject: Re: Non-proprietary vs. no-cost

Hi Ken,

well the short answer is that anything your firm cranesoftwrights produces, will
be seen as proprietory by others. Whether you charge money for it or not won't
change this fact.

Also, there are a lot of companies that develop open source proprietory
solutions. Thousands... They own the IP and programmmers build it with their

So you can have an "open-source" UBL rendering engine that is proprietory to
cranesoftwrights. And lot's of people work on it. That's kind of what it looks
like you are trying to do.

Consider Adobe, who have a proprietory implementation of Acrobat Reader, but
make it available for free. They have an upgrade path. The point is that their
solution is an excellent one, far better than anything that is "free".

Anyway, these are just some simple things to think about.

Best Regards


Quoting "G. Ken Holman" <gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com>:

> Hey, David, thanks for bringing this up for discussion as I certainly do 
> not want to be misleading and I could be far too close to the technology to 
> accurately perceive it as others do.
> I've changed the subject line to more easily identify this thread in the 
> archives.
> At 2004-05-23 12:07 +1000, david.lyon@tradalogs.com wrote:
> > > I'm trying to promote getting away from proprietary
> > > technologies by making these freely available.
> >
> >It might be worth having a think a bit more about what you are saying. One
> the
> >one hand you are promoting cranesoftwrights, which I have no problem with,
> and
> >then you are saying you want to get away proprietory, which is what you are
> >making. That confuses me.
> Help me to understand your confusion about the proprietary nature of the 
> technologies so I can better describe what I thought I was doing.
> I didn't realize I was making anything proprietary ... and there is no 
> obligation to buy or contract anything from Crane, so I had hoped any 
> "promotion" would be indirect (unless I perhaps rocked the boat by some 
> explicit comments to Pedro in the context of my answer to his questions).
> There are at least two (so far) open-source implementations of XSL-FO: FOP 
> and xmlroff, and a large number listed at 
> http://www.xmlsoftware.com/xslfo.html of commercial implementations of 
> XSL-FO tools.
> >Maybe you mean "no-cost" rather than non-proprietory.
> No, I certainly did not want to rule out commercial implementations of 
> XSL-FO ... because the stylesheets do not use any extensions and stick to 
> raw standardized XSL-FO, I can "plug and play" different commercial 
> implementations of XSL-FO to get my result.
> It is precisely the non-proprietary nature of XSL-FO that gives me as a 
> user the choice for any of multiple no-cost and full-cost implementations 
> that may suit my particular environment.
> Consider the importance of non-proprietary technologies in a full-cost 
> solution:  what if I implement a commercial version of XSL-FO from vendor A 
> and use PDF as my output.  All of a sudden I have to start producing 
> 100,000 printouts each day so I have to switch to an implementation that 
> uses AFP as my output.  Had I selected a proprietary implementation of the 
> expression of my layout requirements, I might have to re-implement my 
> requirements in another proprietary implementation to get access to the 
> faster print technology.  Having chosen a non-proprietary technology I can 
> have a choice about implementations without having to jeopardize the 
> investment in the non-proprietary expression of my requirements.  There are 
> both PDF and AFP implementations of XSL-FO.
> So, indeed, I did mean "non-proprietary" and I did not mean "no-cost".
> >It just helps everyone if
> >you can be more clear. Nothing wrong with a proprietory no-cost solution,
> look
> >at winzip etc..
> Okay, I think I see where you are getting at when you use that 
> analogy.  But I've paid for my WinZIP software since I don't use it in 
> evaluation mode (I long forget the splash screen for WinZIP but I thought 
> that individuals using WinZIP by clicking on the three randomized-position 
> buttons were acknowledging the use of the software in an evaluation 
> mode).  To me using WinZIP isn't a "no-cost" solution.
> Were you perhaps concerned by my choice of the Modified BSD License which 
> requires my copyright to be maintained with any stylesheet files that are 
> modified by users and used in any distributions?  Is that too much of an 
> encumbrance to make the package of stylesheets out of reach to some?
> >There certainly is going to be space for UBL document rendering software.
> Indeed!  But when will vendors start embracing it with proprietary 
> solutions?  By contributing a suite of unencumbered stylesheets that 
> utilize an unencumbered technology, people can start working on the print 
> aspects of their work with unencumbered UBL today.
> And I don't want to exclude any proprietary implementations of UBL 
> rendering solutions ... vendors were invited to participate in the Forms 
> Presentation Subcommittee (FPSC) of UBL and though you don't see any of 
> their names on the committee, as chair I fostered their access to the open 
> specifications.  I don't know when we'll see proprietary implementations of 
> UBL rendering solutions, but I'm confident we will.
> There are a number of vendors on the UBL committees.  And vendors contacted 
> the committee off-the-public-record for more information about the 
> formatting specifications.
> >However, at the moment, it's hard to get any company to commit to using UBL
> as
> >the printing solutions are currently way too primitive. We have found, 
> >that UBL
> >needs some extensions to make it more saleable, and these can only be done 
> >with
> >proprietory extensions.
> Proprietary extensions to UBL or proprietary extensions to the printing 
> solution?
> Proprietary extensions to UBL are being addressed by the good work of 
> contextualization being run by Eduardo.
> Proprietary extensions to print technologies would be out of scope of the 
> UBL committee and the participants in the marketplace can do what they wish 
> from an implementation perspective.
> The layouts I'm using for our stylesheets follow the formatting 
> specifications developed by the FPSC committee and shipped with the UBL 
> package, so nothing proprietary is being used there.  And, they aren't even 
> normative renderings, merely informative examples of possible renderings.
> >But generally, I agree with your philosophy to get some tools out there
> which
> >will do the job.
> I'm glad ... and I do enjoy the opportunity to discuss these issues 
> publicly.  Perhaps I'm missing the mark by developing and making these 
> XSL-FO stylesheets freely available, but I can't (yet) see how; I believe 
> this unencumbered set of stylesheets for use with a non-proprietary 
> technology will be of interest to some UBL users ... perhaps many UBL users.
> And I'm having fun doing experimentation and new research in the area of 
> stylesheet synthesis as this work has become fodder for conference 
> presentations I've been making at the annual Extreme Markup conference for 
> XML geeks.  Last year I presented on the LiterateXSLT environment and this 
> year I hope to present on the ResultXSLT environment ... two generations of 
> stylesheet synthesis that have evolved in the real-world situations 
> presented by UBL.  Of academic interest for sure, but also proven as viable 
> for real-world situations and, I believe, quite original approaches to the 
> issues.  Both of these technologies are also made freely available from the 
> "Free resources" area of our web site.
> But I do apologize if any earlier comments to what we do as a company is 
> perceived unfavourably as "promoting Crane".  Our volunteer work in UBL is 
> totally unfunded and is not supported by any of our training customers or 
> consulting clients (whooops!  There I did it again!).
> :{)}
> Thanks again, David!
> .......................... Ken
> --
> Public courses: Spring 2004 world tour of hands-on XSL instruction
> Next: 3-day XSLT/XPath; 2-day XSL-FO - Birmingham, UK June 14,2004
> World-wide on-site corporate, govt. & user group XML/XSL training.
> G. Ken Holman                 mailto:gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com
> Crane Softwrights Ltd.          http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/u/
> Box 266, Kars, Ontario CANADA K0A-2E0    +1(613)489-0999 (F:-0995)
> Male Breast Cancer Awareness  http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/u/bc
> Legal business disclaimers:  http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/legal


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