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Re: [xml-dev] "Open XML" et al... Blech... Re: [xml-dev] Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML?

I think this misses the big point. It started in MA and went around the 
world - a realisation by government that electronic documentation has 
really replaced paper in a very large number of cases. And from that 
follows the requirements for the law to continue functioning in a fair 
and open manner that electronic documents used by government and public 
companies - at least - should be accessible on a permanent basis 
irrespective of the existence, let alone success or failure, of the 
developer of the electronic format.

So ODF and OOXML can look like they are in a titanic struggle for market 
dominance - and that probably suits both of them - but it ignores the 
fact that at some point the life and/or well being of an individual or 
group  may well depend on the ability of an independent person to stand 
up in court and certify that a document says what it appears to say.

eg that has to do explicitly with whether or not key information can be 
hidden in a document.

After the paper has gone and after the companies have gone the 
commercial, legal, and archive worlds will depend absolutely on how 
effective this process has been.

I think that makes the process and surrounding discussions, like this 
one, very important.


Len Bullard wrote:
> The problem isn't the giving or the using of what I given.  It is when 
> patents are granted, the taking from the commons of what is given to 
> the commons supported by taxpayer dollars and sponsored by the very 
> organizations that encourage the giving.
> You can't separate them, Stephen.  Like those who dislike these 
> discussions, they blind themselves to the bad to reap the good and 
> then want to squelch anyone who notices it.  That is why the 
> comparisons are made to the charade played in the Beltway for the last 
> two administrations.  It is a rip off except it is being paid in blood 
> in that case.   We do have a different issue here, but if the process 
> at ISO plays out unencumbered by these politics as it should, that 
> would work, but it seldom does because of the smoke of 'openness' or 
> 'rights' or 'illegal means'.   It's ALL FUD and it is sponsored FUD.
> I don't know of a clean way so process is what we have.   David 
> Megginson tries to make the case that process is bad.  Process is all 
> we have and those who try to take that away from you may be as Tim 
> Bray labels the, "tools or fools" or both, but take notice who 
> profits, who gets the fine positions in the big companies and leads 
> you into the sheep shearing line and the sad bit is you are so easily led.
> Process is ALL you have.  If MS despite their bungling plays to the 
> process in accordance with the process, then they implement products 
> that meet the market needs, they win fairly.   If in the face of 
> competition, companies like IBM, Red Hat, Sun and others put FUD on 
> the street, fund the attacks, and encourage the pile on in the face of 
> process, then they are the villains in this piece.   I've friends in 
> all of those companies but at some point the ethics have to match the 
> actions or the willingness to submit to process dies.  The magic dies.  
> So here we are waiting for comments to be resolved. 
> len
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* Stephen D. Williams [mailto:sdw@lig.net]
> Ayn Rand was right.
> She was, but, for the most part, this is not about that.  Open source is not anti-objectivism.  For many people, via the mechanisms above and others, it is in fact a good embodiement of objectivism.  Power to the people by using the power of the people.  Ayn was rightly denigrating the stealing / taxing / coopting of those who can to give / do / create to those who can't / won't and allowing the recipients to be guilt-free and even righteous about their "right" to receive.  Open source is about giving, giving back when you receive, and a network effect / software-can-be-duplicated-for-free market where everyone benefits more than they put in.  Just because dollars aren't changing hands as much doesn't mean that it isn't a market.  
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