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RE: Draft W3C Excerpt License (Re: WG Decision - spec license use cases)

From: Dailey, David P. <david.dailey@sru.edu>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2009 12:48:52 -0500
Message-ID: <1835D662B263BC4E864A7CFAB2FEEB3D01525745@msfexch01.srunet.sruad.edu>
To: "Karl Dubost" <karl+w3c@la-grange.net>, "Lachlan Hunt" <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Cc: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>, "Philippe Le Hegaret" <plh@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>, <site-policy@w3.org>
I am not sure if Philippe's intention was to have this discussion here at public-html as well, or just at site-policy, but while reading some of people's concerns (Jonas's, Lachy's), I as a prospective author of either software or manuals that might hope, one day, to explain or utilize the spec (making the largely speculative assumption that I might ever understand it), am not sure I share the concern of being able to quote from the text in explanations of it. It seems that, from my reading, anyhow, that the language precludes impersonating the spec, not quoting from it. I read it to say that it's cool to quote so long as it's not into another spec. I don't think either Lachy's or Jonas's use would be prohibited by the language of the proposed license, since those uses would not be "derivative specifications" but merely "derivations from the specification."  *
 
Regarding what look like more thorny issues raised by Ian and apparently by L. David Baron, if I understand them, the concern is that it wraps the control of the spec too closely with the W3C as a standards body. What, happens then if the W3C becomes sluggish, unwieldy, or naughty? Can't WHATWG then resume its rebel ways? 
 
Well, if I recall correctly, from the beginning of this WG there has always been the spectre of two specs looming about. In the vast history of specifications (like in specifying the official currency of Babylonia) I'm sure there have been lots of similar situations. But maintaining the right to mint new specs whenever we are dissatisfied with a current one rather negates the purpose of having specs doesn't it? And don't specs usually fall by the wayside when change happens too fast for specs to keep up with reality?
 
It seems like until it is time to discard a spec, it is best to have some standards organization that maintains the integrity of that spec. That's all I'm seeing the proposed license do, though maybe I'm overlooking something. And when it is time to discard a spec, then is it merely our fear of reinventing wheels that makes us not want to start from scratch?  If we did that would could then have twenty specs and the one that enables the coolest stuff wins? That sounds rather fun!
 
David
 
* I am a little vague on the purview of the term "W3C Document" -- does that apply only to things that have that label on them? Also the license uses both the spellings "license" and "licence" -- one spelling is probably better than two.

________________________________

From: public-html-request@w3.org on behalf of Karl Dubost
Sent: Thu 3/5/2009 11:06 AM
To: Lachlan Hunt
Cc: Ian Hickson; Philippe Le Hegaret; public-html@w3.org; site-policy@w3.org
Subject: Re: Draft W3C Excerpt License (Re: WG Decision - spec license use cases)




Le 5 mars 2009 à 09:39, Lachlan Hunt a écrit :
> I agree with this about the spec too.  But particularly for the 
> authoring guides, sepcifically the HTML 5 Reference that I'm working 
> on, I think the ability for others to fork that document, and 
> incorporate it in whole or in part into their own work is very 
> important.  Whether they want to produce their own independent 
> online resources, books, or other publications, either commercially 
> or non-commercially, it should be possible.


<irony>
[Showing 1 - 12 of 6,601 Results][1]
</irony>

It is not an issue and has never been. It would be better to show 
"real world" use cases of existing or past issues.


[1]: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=node%3D3510&field-keywords=html&x=0&y=0


--
Karl Dubost
Montréal, QC, Canada
http://twitter.com/karlpro
Received on Thursday, 5 March 2009 17:50:08 UTC

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