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RE: [xml-dev] standards vs. the public

From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) <clbullar@ingr.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 13:13:57 -0500
Message-ID: <2C61CCE8A870D211A523080009B94E4306749C97@HQ5>
To: Jonathan Borden <jborden@mediaone.net>, "Steven R. Newcomb" <srn@coolheads.com>
Cc: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org, xml-dev@lists.xml.org


-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Borden [mailto:jborden@mediaone.net]

Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> I have a hard time understanding positions that force
> one group into domination by another and call that
> moral or public interest particularly if that position
> changes when the IP is theirs.

>To be clear, my argument that internet and WWW 'standards' should be open
is
>based on practical not 'moral' concerns.    The Internet and WWW have
>themselves risen to success on the basis of open protocols. At the same
time
>there have been scores of proprietary network protocols, and even other
>non-proprietary protocols that have been said to be superior in some way to
>IP, TCP, HTTP etc etc. 

It's tough to prove causation in this case.  Other factors may have induced 
that success, but this is the realm of historical speculation. Also, what 
is true of low level specifications for network protocols is not necessarily

true at other levels.  The RAND document asserts this point.

>The question comes down to: ought the general public
>look to the W3C as _the_ entity which recommends best practices for
>operation of the Internet and WWW? This is not a 'moral' issue. 

It is a choice of authorities.  Many factors enter into that choice 
including efficiency, competency, etc.  However, the general public 
does not look to the W3C in any case.  It has no representation there 
and no vote.  It is the company membership that has that.  If you want 
a representative voice, then the Internet must be regulated as a 
public utility.

>Rather themost practical issue of what will best promote the success of the
Internet
>(of course including businesses that _use_ the internet in the course of
>their proprietary operations). I firmly believe that a proprietary Internet
>would not have achieved the success the current Internet has.

Good.  That is stated as a belief.  I accept that belief.  However, we 
cannot assert that will be the case in the future.  Internet II is not 
an open project per se.  And further, the W3C did not make the Internet 
happen nor contribute much to the technologies.  DARPA managed most of 
the success for which the W3C receives the lionshare of credit.  Mike 
Champion and I have both made this point:  the W3C has been harvesting 
(a politer term than burglary) and did not sustain the costs.  As 
an organization issuing specifications to further convergence, it is 
successful.   This is where I think there is a good case to be made 
for RF RAND.  However, to disallow non-RF RAND is to remove an option that
can 
also promote convergence and thereby, will promote the growth of proprietary
systems 
with even more restrictive conditions.  So again, we have to look at 
the RAND document:  it insists on RF for low-level specs and makes 
the non-RF a case-by-case decision for high level.  If one accepts 
that promoting its success is contingent on stable interoperating 
systems, one should accept both possibilities and provide an 
acceptable policy for each.


>> ... I shall anxiously
>> await the Oracle and HP responses to working groups
>> formed to standardize technologies in which they
>> hold patents.  My experience is that the rules are
>> changed to suit the convenience of those who make
>> the rules particularly if they can rewrite the
>> history just as conveniently.
>
>> Mine is the objectivist position with respect
>> to that politic.

>I still have no idea what you are saying.

See Ayn Rand.

>> Still,the W3C acceptance or imprimatur may be irrelevant
>> to the success of the product on the Internet.  Flash
>> is a good example. The WWW user adopts this because it
>> works.

>Exactly. Ditto PDF.

We agree.

len
Received on Tuesday, 9 October 2001 14:13:59 GMT

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