[whatwg] Patent Policy and Process

Jim Ley jim at jibbering.com
Sun Jun 13 14:33:05 PDT 2004

The Web Forms 2.0 specification is copyright a particular browser vendor
(not even the Working Group)  Please could you clarify the status of the
specification, is it a proprietary Opera specifcation, or what?

What is the structure of the Working Group, an informal collaboration of
companies - if so which companies explicitly?  Currently it appears to be a
proprietary Opera specification, it has an Opera editor, and he is all
powerful, there's no requirement to address issues, or explain decisions.
(I'm sure Ian would, but we still need a proper policy to have any faith for
those of us who've not actually met the guy.)    Can we have tighter
definitions of the process in the charter.

What is the process for tracking Errata, and changes in the document, for
answering implementation issues, how are flaws in the test-suite resolved
(interopability is defined by the test-suite not the specification.)  Are
features sections or subsection - ie do you require 2 full interopable
implementations of every section - IE you need two full implementations of
"Section 5.0 Form submission" - Something I would love to see, but not
something that's going to happen in any reasonable timeframe unless you
hobble the test-suite, and seems rather against the aims.

What intellectual property do the organisations have in the various areas,
what licensing terms would that IP be made available to others on? Please
also announce all patents that Opera, Apple or other member organisations,
that are in any way relevant to the Web Forms (or other specs) need to be
announced, or a statement that no patents are currently held and an
indication that the companies will not pursue them.  Also any other patents
that may be relevant from outside companies that are already known to the
the WG, or a statement to the effect that there are none known.

What does "shipping" and "unofficial" mean w.r.t. to implementations - is a
beta release of Opera shipping or development, is an extension to IE
official or unofficial?   How distinct do implementations need to be before
considered valid to be one of the 2 (ie Opera on Symbian 60 and Opera on
Windows would be 1 or 2 implementations, equally Mac IE and Win32 IE.)

What is the archival process on the mailing list etc.  If I decide I no
longer wish my copyright material to be included for example, how do I
remove it?  how long does the WG undertake to provide the archive?  Will you
solicit approval from contributors for other groups to archive the mailing
list and specifications to ensure continuation?


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