[odf-discuss] OOXML: The next step
daniel.carrera at zmsl.com
Mon Apr 14 16:10:58 EDT 2008
Some times I feel like I'm trapped inside a Monty Python sketch.
> On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 11:18 AM, <robert_weir at us.ibm.com
> <mailto:robert_weir at us.ibm.com>> wrote:
> Sorry Paul, but now you are conflating the Law with your
> interpretation of the Law.
> No, that is not what I said. I said that if you disagree with my
> interpretation of the law, you must answer with an argument based on
> law. An argument that everyone behaves in a particular way is irrelevant
> to what the law requires. Facts and law are not the same thing. One
> determines what the facts are, then determines what law governs, then
> one determines whether the behavior is lawful or unlawful. One does not
> determine that everyone does it this way therefore it must be legal.
> It's a logical fallacy.
> What I am saying is that if your interpretation of the law, which I
> hear being expressed by no other competent authority, is at odds
> with all evident practice in standardization, then I must pause and
> wonder whether your interpretation is correct. My doubt need not be
> grounded on any legal analysis.
> Are you saying that the World Trade Organization Appellate Body did not
> say what it did or that the Appellate Body is incompetent? Are you
> saying that interoperability is not one of three mandatory Core Common
> Characteristics under JTC 1 Directives that standards must reflect
> absent the consent of the Secretaries-General? Are you saying that
> interoperability is not essential to competition in the software market
> or that file format incompatibilities do not create an unnecessary
> obstacle to international trade?
> Are you saying that SC 34 did not seek a specific change in JTC 1
> Directives from SWG Directives so that OpenDocument could allow apps
> that do not conform to the entire standard could still claim
> conformance, or that SWG Directives declined to create that exception?
> There is no absence of authority on my side of the fence. I have cited
> and quoted it at length. You are the one who is trying to argue that
> "everyone does it therefore it must be legal."
> It is sufficient, to me at least, to observe that your
> interpretation does not appear to be widely held.
> Oh? How about the following view from one of Microsoft's standards
> attorneys? Do you disagree?
> "The ultimate purpose of a software standard is to enable
> interoperability between different products and services. If there is
> no need for interoperability, there is little if any need for a common
> standard. The point of a standard is to make it possible for devices
> and services from different providers to work together."
> Do you disagree that the chartered purpose of the OpenDocument Technical
> Committee is to create "A standard for office document processing and
> *interchange* ... ?"
> Of course, that doesn't prove anything. Absence of evidence is not
> evidence of absence. I could be wrong. But you must admit that
> your interpretation is just a wee bit less persuasive in light of
> the fact that no court or competent regulatory body has ever ruled
> on your line of reasoning, and thousands of existing standards
> seemingly violate it?
> Thousands? You began your argument with examples of, as I recall, only
> four specific standards you say violate the legal point I espouse. At
> least one of them, XHTML 1.0 Strict does not seem to bear out your
> claim. Have you actually studied "thousands" of existing standards in
> this regard? Were any of them standards for weights and measures? Were
> any of them telecommunications protocol standards? Or do you argue that
> there is some unique exception in well-established law governing
> standards for document format standards? If so, I would very much
> appreciate a citation to the exception. I am far more concerned with
> being correct than in persisting in a flawed analysis.
> As for your question, you asked whether I will "clearly and
> unambiguously specify that conformance requirements essential to
> achieve the interoperability" and will the standards-based
> interoperability between *different* IT systems be "demonstrable,"
> as required by JTC 1 Directives?
> To that I can say that we are rewriting the conformance clauses in
> ODF 1.2, per OASIS requirements. I believe this also accords well
> with the JTC1 requirements.
> You blink too easily past the fact that SC 34 sought a specific
> exception in the latest version of the JTC 1 Directives for OpenDocument
> in regard to conformance to less than the full standard and the request
> was denied.
> But in any event, my questions are susceptible only to "yes" or "no"
> answers. Please answer them accordingly.
> But honestly, I also believe that what we have in ODF 1.0 also
> complies with JTC1 requirements. In other words, I don't believe
> that the JTC1 requirements prevent a standard from defining
> conformance in a way that allows conformant applications from also
> allowing vendor extensions.
> Then we can cut this conversation short if you would do me the courtesy
> of pointing to: [i] the specific section(s) of the ISO/IEC:26300
> standard or the ODF v. 1.2 draft standard that "clearly and
> unambiguously specify the conformity requirements essential to achieve
> the interoperability; and [ii] the specific test results where the
> interoperability between *different* IT systems was demonstrated using
> ISO/IEC:26300 or ODF v. 1.2 as the "standardised interface" for the
> "mutual use of information;" or [iii] a document evidencing the consent
> of the Secretaries-General of ISO/IEC:26300 to be excused from those
> requirements. See definition of interoperability in JTC 1 Directives
> Annex I. As you said earlier in this same thread, "If you use extensions
> you know you will not be interoperable."
> If you can show me those items of evidence, then we are arguing over a
> wholly academic issue. If you cannot show that evidence, then ODF and
> the efforts of the ODF TC violate JTC 1 Directives. Short and sweet.
> In any case, I am very serious about interoperability. But I
> believe that vendor extensions are an insignificant source of
> real-world interoperability problems when it comes to ODF.
> That ignores the law saying that all characteristics of a standardized
> product must be specified. Disclosure of information necessary to
> achieve interoperability may be disclosed by a particular vendor (e.g.,
> Microsoft) outside the context of a standard. But that does not mean
> that disclosure of such information outside the context of a standard
> honors the requirement that all product characteristics be specified by
> a standard.
> I drafted my two questions deliberately in a leading fashion. They are
> susceptible only to "yes" or "no" answers. I will even delete the "as
> required by JTC 1 Directives" part of the questions. Will ODF v. 1.2
> exhibit those qualities?
> In other words, let's take the issue of the law and the Directives off
> the table. For me personally, what is at stake with your answers to
> those two questions are whether I will personally contribute to ODF v.
> 1.2 and whether I will support or oppose your efforts to get ODF v. 1.2
> through OASIS and JTC 1. While my questions are based on my
> interpretation of the law, you need not agree with my interpretation to
> answer the questions.
> I will restate those questions here without reference to what I believe
> the Directives require.
> 1. Will ODF v. 1.2 clearly and unambiguously specify the conformity
> requirements essential to achieve the interoperability?
> [ ] Yes [ ] No
> 2. Will interoperability between *different* IT systems using ODF v. 1.2
> as the "standardised interface" for mutual use of exchanged information
> be demonstrated?
> [ ] Yes [ ] No
> Only my support or opposition is determined by your answers. You need
> express no opinion as to requirements of law or the Directives.
> The real-world issues are more around partial implementations, or
> defective interpretations of the standard. So that's where I put my
> efforts. If any one else is interested in helping to solve the
> real-world problems, then I'd recommend the same.
> We are in strong disagreement here. The real-world issue is whether ODF
> will become more than a standard in name only. It is riddled with
> ambiguous options that are interoperability breakpoints and it is a
> signed blank check for developers to extend. It does not specify all
> characteristics of a standard product in such a way that the products
> produced by different vendors are interchangeable.
> I will support IBM's efforts and contribute if IBM is determined to
> change that situation to bring ODF into compliance with the law. If you
> have something else in mind, I will oppose adoption of ODF v. 1.2
> without very substantial changes.
> Best regards,
> odf-discuss mailing list
> odf-discuss at opendocumentfellowship.com
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