Subject: What Is Code?
From: jean_camp@harvard.edu
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 11:04:31 -0500


Currently in addition to the arguments being made about the extremely 
bad near-term policy decisions there is a very large debate in the legal 
and policy communities as to how to deal with code.

There have been some original proposals, for example to limit copyright 
to five years. There have been proposals to remove all patent protection 
from anything code-related.

My thoughts are at
www.ksg.harvard.edu/people/jcamp/Syrena_intprop.html

I argue that we should align liability with code form, exactly the 
opposite in which UCITA is aligning it.

I thought it may be of interest here.

wrt Dealing with open source community? I'm supposed to _deal_ with you? 
  OK gimme a double prozac latte for _that_.

Seriously Star Office make it easier for me to be in this entirely 
Microsoft institution on this box than on my mac box. Because, as has 
been pointed out, the quality of the converters. It has yet to crash for 
me  except once (unlike say Netscape which seems to crash about every 
two days or so, and the attrocious "printtool' tool which has yet to 
work.)  I did end up having to entirely reinstall that time, so whatever 
went wrong was fairly ugly. SOffice is SUPERIOR to the translators 
offered by MS for MS formats on the Mac.  There was never a translator 
that would allow you to open Excel files and maintain the relationships 
-- that is everything just became numbers no formulas-- provided by MS 
for Mac users. In fact, I often had to open the files using Word (where 
they had apparently accidentally included a working translator) save it 
as rtf and then open in Excel. Consider thei mportance of budgets in 
your average institution and you see the value.

I also have the entire Corel package but I perfer Soffice even if it is 
more clunky because of the ability to interact.

Of course it is a but annoying that the two open office packages - Corel 
and Soffice - do not have translators for between themselves. One of 
those "we have met the enemy and he is us" cases.

Please do not underestimate the value of translators, and stable (if 
slow and clunky) code.

-Jean