[odf-discuss] GNOME Foundation Statement on ECMA TC45-M
lucychili at gmail.com
Sun Nov 25 17:06:26 EST 2007
ooxml does not have RAND reasonable and non discriminatory legal
permission to use the format.
put the other way, the legal scoping is structured in order to make
the proposal usable on specific terms to specific people. the
permission is rescindable if you are in court with MS. given the kind
of legal space we work in I feel that having a format which is legally
safe for all and can be worked on openly is not a trivial difference
open code is a network of interconnecting pieces, choices and people.
I remember Lessig's preentation of a computing stack from hardware to
user application to format and looking at whether there were open
formats at each layer of that stack. It is important to support the
work of other people in having an integrated open stack. ooxml is not
a part of that journey.
it is a proposal for a standard which does not just break what
standards mean (RAND)
but also breaks the process and the groups which work on them
eg. by buying sufficient votes to ignore the existing committee(SE)
Now other standards are having trouble being processed because the new
groups which have joined the standards process are not active in other
decisions, but the decisions need a proportion of the groups to
participate to have quorum.
When a company has a 'standard' by way of critical mass, open
standards could be seen as an obstacle by them
and a means to give other people entry into a market where they have
right of way by means of critical mass.
Authentic open standards are the important glue which makes it
possible for small players to engage legally.
It does not surprise me that this process has been so contrary for the
standards organisations to process.
I guess it does surprise me that there seems to be very little sense
of the inherent value of a format which is legally safe and open
within the standards process itself, and that this makes it difficult
to contribute in ways which
get at the problem and which give the standards process a clearer
sense of itself and its value as a means for
effective technical dialogue and innovation.
Authentic legally safe open standards are important. RAND is important.
Decisions which make public information accessible in open formats are
They are the components which give governments communities businesses
and freedom in managing data on behalf of a nation or any other group.
More information about the odf-discuss