[sword-devel] Food for thought regarding OSIS and some of its alternatives...

David Blue (Mailing List Addy) davidslists at gmx.net
Fri Mar 10 23:09:02 MST 2006

On Friday 10 March 2006 23:29, Kahunapule Michael Johnson wrote:
> I am not a religious follower of open source and ISO standards. Actually, I
> care little about ISO endorsement of any standard unless the standard is
> both relevant to the task at hand and a better solution than reasonable
> alternatives. This isn't a game for me... it is what I do: translate,
> proclaim, publish, and live the Word of God, and help others who do those
> things.

This isn't a game for most of us either. It is what we do. Now let me explain 
the importance if standards, especially standards endorsed and maintained by 
standards organizations such as the *International* *Standards* Organization. 
And, what's more I can do it in one word, Compatibility

I just recently bought a wireless router and wireless card for my laptop. Both 
my router and card support the 802.11b and 802.11g standards. Now, I can take 
my laptop to any wireless hot-spot in the country (probably the world) and 
plug-in to that network, and in theory connect to it and do wireless 
networking. Further, if that hot-spot is connected to the Internet I can 
connect to it as well via the hot-spot. Why, because the IEEE LAN/MAN 
Standards Committee (802) created a standard that anyone who wants the 
greatest compatibility with their product will adhere to. Sure someone could 
create a completely proprietary wireless networking solution that was better 
suited for a particular task than the 802.11 standards, but if they built 
their stuff to only support that then as soon as you left your coverage area 
you would be out of luck, unable to use any hotspots. In fact there are 
companies that create their own standards on top of the IEEE 802.11 specs, 
such as the so-called 802.11g+, but they always maintain full support for the 
officially endorsed standard that way they ensure the greatest compatibility.

And for some of us, compatibility with users of many different platforms 
without having to maintain a huge number of code or document branches and 
porting or converting this and that is of utmost importance. If I create a 
bible study for instance, there's a good chance I'll do it using KWord, and 
unless version 1.5 of that program is out, then it won't be saved on my end 
in the OASIS format, it'll be in KWord's proprietary format. But when I go to 
share it with the rest of the world, it'll be in a format that more than just 
KOffice users will be able to open and have it render "properly" (i.e. 
nothing missing or added to the information such as often happens when 
converting from MS Office products to another format)

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