brainstorming: which formats to use and which to avoid
wk at gnupg.org
Mon Jun 11 12:22:16 UTC 2001
|| On Mon, 11 Jun 2001 12:49:20 +0200
|| piccardi at firenze.linux.it (Simone Piccardi) wrote:
sp> The Ogg format (Vorbis and Tarkin) and html are the only data format
sp> that I know to be patent-free (but I'm not an expert). Probably you
We will never be able to decide whether something is patented; this is
_one_ of the major problems with software patents. They are written
in a language to cover the real claims.
What we should do is to put formats with known patents claims on a
What I tried to express in my previous mail was, that even that Ogg is
a free and fully documented format, some vendor might go and add a
proprietary extension to it like Microsoft did it with Kerberos.
Avoiding this pitfall is easy by telling the URL or the RFC of the
specs and warning about possible non-compliat implementations.
Let's keep the patent discussion out except for well-know cases and
concentrate on format defintions. To start with some formats you just
have to go through the RFC marked as Standards or Draft-Standards.
Hmmm, here are some things which come to mind:
Compression - Whitelist
ZIP as defined in RFC 1950, 1951, 1952
BZIP2 as defined in the documentation (URL)
Compression - Blacklist
Compress (*.Z) due to the use of the LZW algorithm
ARR defined but patented
PkZip uses patented algorithms
Audio - Whitelist
WAV as defined by some Micrsoft documentaion
Ogg as defined in the documentsion of the software
Audio - Blacklist
MP3 due to [patent claims by Fraunhofer
Images - Whitelist
JPEG as defined by the Joint Photographers Expert Group without the
option for Digital Encoding
PNG as defined in RFC????
Images - Blacklist
GIF due to the LZW patent and becuase PNG superior to it.
TIFF because it is a collection of different algorithms
Documents - Whitelist
Postscript according to Adobe specs xxx
PDF according to specs ... but w/o the options ...
Documents - Blacklist
MS Word - no complete specification
Adobe Illustrator - proprietary Postscrip extensions
Vector Graphics - Whitelist
fig as specified in the fig documentation
SVF??? (the Web Vector format) as specified by the W3C
Vector Graphics - Blacklist
Flash [I am not sure whether this is sufficiently documented]
Corel not documented
Character Encodings - Whitelist
Character Encodings - Blacklist
ISO646 (?) encodings of some characters depend on the locale
EBCDIC due to many different variants
Crypto protocols - Whitelist
Kerberos [but watch out for MS extensions]
Digital Signature Certificates - Blacklist
X.509 - too many different profiles, proprietary extensions or
widely used wrong implementations.
PPTP and many, many other insecure and undocumented protocols.
Werner Koch Omnis enim res, quae dando non deficit, dum habetur
g10 Code GmbH et non datur, nondum habetur, quomodo habenda est.
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