CyberTech Rambler

August 3, 2007

Tightening the definitation is OK, but do not do it simply to exclude others

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 3:15 pm

Rob Weir’s post about Plato redefining the definition of human to exclude plucked chicken is interesting. He called the person who presented a plucked chicken a smart-ass. He is indeed a smart-ass. However, when he links the story with the current OOXML, in my opinion, he only partly got it right. He is right in saying Microsoft is the smart-ass, but wrong in saying that it will trigger a redefinition of Open Standard as there is no need. There is no need for redefinition, it is just somebody (deliberate) “misinformation” about what open standard is and try to propagate this misunderstanding to the less-well-informed. The call to arms should not be redefining open standard, but defending open standard. The difference between OOXML and the Plato story is Plato started with a bad definition of human, we did not.

However, I will like to remind readers that one should not attempt to redefine something in order to exclude one’s opponent. Redefinition should be done to stop people doing deviant thing, period. For example,  a while ago, a  graphic benchmark vendor and a graphic card vendor crashes over the latter’s detection of graphic benchmark being run (via filename) and run specialized routines to improve its performance under the benchmark. I believe that benchmark for graphic test suite should be tighten to stop graphic cards vendor from getting “cute” over it and will find such redefinition of benchmark acceptable. GPLv3 exclusion MS-Novell type contract is another good example where redefinition helps.



  1. I agree with you there. In fact, the context of such definitions: procurement, etc., would forbid any capricious restrictions or such that were not fully grounded in licit business or policy objectives.

    There must be more than misinformation at play here. The Commonwealth’s ITD certainly had the time and ability to make an informed judgment. But then they passed off the Ecma review as “transparent.” How does something like this happen?

    Comment by Rob Weir — August 6, 2007 @ 5:59 pm | Reply

  2. […] to “a biped, without feathers, with broad, flat nails“. Furthermore, it is me that accuse Pluto of having a bad definition of humans, and now I am guilty of the accusation […]

    Pingback by OOXML support in iWork 2008 « CyberTech Rambler — August 8, 2007 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

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