[Cc-uk] The Need for "Open" Formats

Stuart Yeates stuart.yeates at computing-services.oxford.ac.uk
Tue Jun 28 05:51:04 EDT 2005

David Hirst wrote:

> Incidentally, .pdf seems to be an acceptable “open” format, both the CC
> and the GNU sites use it. Yet the latest version has all sorts of
> selective restrictions that publishers can set, and does not seem to
> have a time out. So, if one sets the CC condition of timeout after 14
> years, (Founders Copyright) adobe does not implement this. (or does it?)

(*) Using a format is not synonymous with using all the features of
a format. If you can find instances of the use of Portable Document
Format copy-protection in use on the GNU website I'd be very surprised.

> Clocks are everywhere, and
> they never run backwards, so no programmer ever builds in checks to cope
> when they do.

This is not the case.

Almost all network-oriented applications face and overcome the
problem of radically incorrectly set clocks among some participants.
1/1/1972 is a particularly common date, since it is the start of the
unix/linux time representation epoch.

Besides, if you're doing this sort of thing regularly, you just set
up a system that always runs GMT + 15 years and you're set. You
never need put it back to the normal time. If you're running VMWare
or similar you can probably even run one on the same physical
hardware as your normal systems with even needed to reboot. [note: I
haven't actually tried this.]

Stuart Yeates        stuart.yeates at computing-services.oxford.ac.uk
OSS Watch                              http://www.oss-watch.ac.uk/
Oxford Text Archive                         http://ota.ahds.ac.uk/

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