[uf-new] XFN - Professionals Network microformat
gfraser at adaptavist.com
Fri Apr 27 07:53:06 PDT 2007
Manu Sporny wrote:
> I can definitely sympathize with your viewpoints. I don't think the
> licensing and patenting is a concern, read on...
It's very much an issue. Let's say your a company and you want to use
some software. You're told that it's copyrighted - so you *need* a
license to use that stuff by default. But then you find that nobody
really owns that copyright - um, that's an odd situation. At this point
most corporates choose some alternative solution.
Then you find out that it might be patented, or that there is at least
intent to patent, but because it's not currently patented you cannot
guarantee what sort of patent it will go under. Run for the trees! What
if they patent it and you are using it and then you get sued? What if
you've made derivative works or if your systems or procedures have
somehow become dependant on it?
This stuff can't just be shrugged off. Sorry.
> I'll be blunt: every community has a group of jerks and a group of
> people that actually get the work done. While people may seem to be
> jerk-ish on the list, most of them have good intentions.
I never said there were any jerks. What I was trying to say is that the
process used for uF's is inherently closed - eg, using IRC where unless
you're on there all day every day you have no idea what's been
discussed, using mediawiki which inherently hides content if it's not
linked from a page you can find of if you don't know what to search for
(having to use the random page feature is just insane), having to show
real-world examples before things will even be considered, etc.
> The only real input I have to your statements are:
> - We need people to get the information in a more digestable manner -
> I'm thinking of putting something together in the next month or two.
Yup - not just existing information, but also a place for new ideas to
be openly presented (neither the mailing list or wiki or irc seem suited
to this - would forums be a better place?)
> - Licensing is going to have to work out - most drafts have the intent
> of the authors in a section titled "Copyright":
It's the whole intent thing that is really worrying to corporates -
intent is a nice bunch of words that mean nothing. Why not just release
all the uF's under a certified open source license, remove the "we might
patent this" bit and then the whole planet can freely use uF's? The only
reason I can imagine not to release as OS is if the uF developers want
to make money or something?
> I feel your pain... but, there is a great deal of good to be found in
> this community.
Yes, uF community is making some nice stuff. I am worried that the
process may lead to divergence though - eg. it would seem logical to me
to have a uF that describes blog posts, comments, pages, etc., all in
the same format because they all share mostly the same data. This would
then allow mapping tools, navigation aides, etc., to be far more
consistent and easier to develop and maintain. But the process
effectively forces people to start new uFs for new things because they
find it so hard to get existing uF's to adapt.
Just my £0.02 :)
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