Subject: Re: Open Software Description (OSD) format
From: Ben Laurie <>
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 09:07:12 +0000

Rich Morin wrote:
> At 10:45 PM +0000 2/28/00, Ben Laurie wrote:
> >The W3 Cartel's long-standing refusal to allow free software developers
> >free membership was the writing on the wall. Their so-called "standards"
> >should be treated with the contempt they deserve. Hmmm ... actually, XML
> >and related standards are somewhat worthwhile, and are currently
> >Cartel-controlled. Time do some campaigning?
> I agree; there are a number of interesting XML-related standards.  I am
> interested, for instance, in the Marimba/Microsoft proposal for Open
> Software Description (OSD), an XML-based software distribution format:
> I have been looking for a way to implement something along the lines
> of Eric Raymond's TROVE proposal, as well as a foundation for a new
> build and distribution system (along the lines of the FreeBSD "Ports
> Collection") that could work in multiple environments.  This may not
> be the answer, but they appear to be asking many of the right questions.

Now that's something I'd be particularly interested in.

> In any case, I sent a note to Arthur van Hoff, asking about the legal
> status of the proposal.  He was encouraging:
>    Anyone is allowed to make use of OSD as far as I
>    know. It is a proposal for an open standard, it
>    would be silly if it were not useable by others.
> but my efforts to get an official response from W3C have been ignored.
> I would love to see W3C become friendlier to the Open Source community;
> anyone have contacts there that might be willing to start a dialog?

Go to the top: write to Tim Berners-Lee. Actually I've had some
conversations with them, and they tend to go like this:

Me: you should give the ASF free membership
W3 Cartel Lackey: no, but if you tell me which WGs you want to join, I
expect I can swing it for you to be an observer
Me: but that's not the same thing at all
W3 Cartel Lackey: I don't understand what you mean

As a result I have no idea who to talk to. Perhaps frequent public
mention is the appropriate course.




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