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28 February 2005


Andy Updegrove

I think that you hit the nail on the head. Open Source is a great technique to achieve meritorious ends, but its not the only tool available, nor should it be (any more than SDO-created standards are or should be). Its unfortunate that instead of inviting a productive debate, the signators have launched an ultimatum.

Their ultimatum is also likely to be gratuitous, given that, as you point out, it's directed at OASIS members that have already completed their policy revision process. The debate among those that revised the old and outdated OASIS IPR policy was long and intense, and represented a rigorous field test of what is achievable at this point in time under actual market conditions. That's what revisions are for - to update policies.

It's also worth noting that this is hardly likely to be the last revision that OASIS ever makes of its IPR policy, any more than a piece of open source software - or a standard - is allowed to become static, and therefore useless.

Charles Hixson

You are right. A "standards" organization is it's members.

However, if the specifications created are not publically useable, then they are "standards", not Standards.

I won't consider standards that cannot be used by GPL software.

I don't care who is going through the motions, to me it's just waste paper. And I won't sully the term standard by using it to describe such "standards". I'll grant that they are rightly called specifications, as they do specify, but they are NOT standards, as they don't describe the right way to do things (except in marketer-speak).

David White

Just wanted to let you know that I'm aggregating standards news on a blog at

I've been at it since September and working with Andy Updegrove and others on standards seminars featuring perspectives on best practices for standards consortia. More info on that at

Like your blog.


David White

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