[clug] Your Best arguments please
mbp at samba.org
Mon Aug 11 13:53:01 EST 2003
On 11 Aug 2003, Antony Wuth <ajw at pobox.com> wrote:
> Require 3 separate / independent implementations of the protocol / data
This is slightly silly. You just banned
- Ogg Vorbis
- Postgres and MySQL
- rsync (twice)
amongst many others.
A definition of open data formats requires discretion and judgement.
As Chris pointed out, merely having something that purports to be
documentation is not enough, in the absence of a guarantee that the
documentation is correct. Merely being open source is no guarantee
that there is any other way to reach the data other than through a
particular codebase, which may not be maintained in the future.
There is a more assured practical future path for MS Word documents
than there is for Abiword documents.
All of these things are good indicators but none of them are
- open documentation of the protocol/format
- managed by a standards body
- multiple implementations
- open source implementation(s)
- transparent formats that can be read at a lower level using other
tools (e.g. plain text, XML)
- free of patents or other encumberances
> You would need to have procedures to verify that the
> implementation was actually independent (so MS doesn't just write 3
> different .doc viewers & claim them as independent) On top of this there
> probably should be the requirement that the end client is guaranteed
> future access to at least one implementation of the protocol / file
> format viewing / use code for the lifetime of the data stored / created
> in the system (ie for potential FOI data 30 odd years)
Guaranteed how? Who can make 30 year guarantees for computer data at
> This would pretty much require at a minimum code escrow (potentially
Not necessarily expensive, but that is a whole other argument.
> or better still at least one of the implementations to be OSS
> which means the end client could effectively implement their own code
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