An outline proposal

robert_weir at robert_weir at
Wed Oct 13 22:04:52 CEST 2010

sc34wg1study-bounces at wrote on 10/13/2010 09:04:05 PM:
> Your first proposal condition was 
> "1. Provide a compressed archive format for general use."
> and I was disagreeing with that.
> I believe we want a package format for documents, and the intention 
> is to use Zip as the basis.  I trust we will resolve that quickly, 
> because the moment Zip is not the basis I can spend my efforts 

I'll draw everyone's attention to the name of this study group.  It uses 
the term "ZIP" and not the term "archive and compression format", a more 
generic term which describes technologies for which there are already 
existing standards in the IETF, e.g., multipart MIME, GZIP, etc.

Compatibility with industry practice is a must here.  That is why we chose 
ZIP for ODF.  I suspect other standards did for the same reason, that the 
format is usable with existing tools and libraries.  So I don't think we 
have a blank sheet to draw upon here.

But if we want to do something useful then I see at least three paths:

1) Standardize the entire functionality described in the current ZIP 
Application Note.  But use this standardization process to receive formal 
patent disclosures which should clarify which parts of the specification 
require patents, and whether those patents are available on RAND terms. 
The existence of patents is not a formal bar against standardization in 
ISO/IEC, so long as they are disclosed and are available on RAND terms.

2) Standardize a subset of the ZIP Application Note that is believed to 
involve only royalty-free methods and which is sufficient for document 
format use.  Note that this is close to the proposal that recently failed 
to receive sufficient support in SC34.  So I suggest we need to go beyond 

3) Do #1 and then do #2 as a profile standard of #1.  In other words, if 
we do #1 in a modular fashion, then #2 easily falls out of it.  I prefer 
this approach. It gives everything that supporters of the original 
proposal wanted (ZIP-lite) as well as standardizing the other parts of 
ZIP, which are very important and market-relevant.  The key is 
modularization, which facilitates profiling.


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