Talk:Open format

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Some problems[edit]

I think this page has some problems:

It doesn't cite its references for statements. It does include a list of references at the end but the statements made on this page contradict some of those on the referenced pages (e.g. the definition on this page does not agree with that on <>). No explanation or even acknowledgment of the differences is made, so this is not a neutral POV.

Specific details: -1- it says that open formats must be "free of legal restrictions on use" but many open formats are subject to licences (which grant wide-ranging rights, but nevertheless are legal restrictions). The point is that the rights are broad enough for users' intended purposes and the restrictions prevent abuse.

-2- it says that "In contrast to open formats, proprietary formats are controlled and defined by private interests". While it is true that propietary formats are almost always controlled by private interests, it is not the case that open formats CANNOT be defined by private interests, so "in contrast to open formats" is inaccurate (PDF would be a good example). 10:45, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Compare with Free file format - perhaps some of the text here could be transferred to Free file format? The discussion above suggests to me that the two articles should not be merged, but both improved. Kctucker (talk) 12:02, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Distinction between "open standard" and "open format"[edit]

The distinction between "open standard" and "open format" should be addressed in the article. --Bejnar (talk) 22:31, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. For example, I would consider WebDAV a protocol, not a file format. Both protocols and file formats could fall under a greater category of standards, but then it should be reorganized and relabeled as such. (talk) 15:47, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

Mostly missing reliable references.--Kozuch (talk) 11:04, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Deletion Template[edit]

Another editor has added a deletion template to this article, proposing that the article be deleted. The stated reason is:

"Proposed Deletion, for same reason as Proprietary Format. / Concept, with no formal definition or notable references outside of biased mention. Article is full of opinion, nothing but an unsourcable definition to be salvaged."

Without a solid definition, it may be best to delete the article. However, if a rock-solid industry-wide agreed definition could be ascertained, then I would reconsider.--Lester

I think what we need is at least one reliable source for each non-obvious claim in this article. Claims for which no notable reference can be found should be deleted.
However, I don't think this article needs to be about an industry-wide agreed definition. It could also cover several definitions (only from notable sources of course) like in the article open standard. For now, I don't think removing the whole article is a good idea, because open formats are a well known concept in the software industry and we just need to find some good references. Ghettoblaster (talk) 23:53, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
We should also have an eye on Free file format. The main part also does not contain any references. I think merging both articles might be an option. Ghettoblaster (talk) 23:58, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't really describe it as notable in the sofware industry, hence i put it up for deletion. While there are people who think in terms of open and closed formats, it's only an insignificant proportion outside of the primary software market, and even if we took that as some notability of the topic, none of these terms are notable, and they are certainly not verifiable. - Jimmi Hugh (talk) 09:40, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
So, I see it was decided to merge articles on free formats and open formats rather than expand the definition of "free file format". Has anything been lost in the process? For example, a free file format requires a free software reference implementation. There used to be a list of free file formats which was really useful at times. The distinction between the terms are of interest beyond the software industry (free culture, free knowledge, ...). Wikipedia is central to the free knowledge movement and only accepts files in a free file formats (see the Wikimedia Commons policy on this). Let us not forget (and thereby undermine) the original vision for Wikipedia and free knowledge in general. -- K (talk) 13:05, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Just picking up on one point you've got there - neither a "free file format" nor "open file format" require a free/open reference implementation. By definition, it just needs the specification freely/openly available for all to use. A reference implementation cetainly helps for verification purposes, etc, but isn't necessary. Nuwewsco (talk) 19:17, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

GIF and JPEG[edit]

Is there any reason that GIF and JPEG should not be listed as Open formats at this point? They are documented formats and all the patents have expired. Kaldari (talk) 18:01, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Page should be split and reoordered.[edit]

The list of document formats needs to be in a table on a seperate page and ordered by popularity rather than alphabetically. The table should be amended with the default file extensions associated with the documents, and the Open Document Format section needs to be exploded into .ods .odf etc.

There needs to be a place where end-users can refer to for file format usage. If this was such a page I would href to it in my sig, as a way of saying: DON'T send me .doc files! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:31, 11 July 2011 (UTC)


...wikipedia is an FSF mouthpiece know? First of all, for us people in most of the wold, where software patents don't apply, MPEG4 is as "free" as Theora is. Just because the US and a minority of European states have crazy laws that allow software patents to exist, that doesn't mean anything for the rest of the world. What if the US votes for a law that puts a levy on "all codecs capable of using P-frames"? (to counter those evil pirates by making video compression less efficient for media distributed for free) In such scenario, does this mean Theora will suddenly become "non free" and the only "free" codec will be the DV codec? In plain english, just because the US and a couple of other countries have strange laws that allow strange royalty schemes to bloom, that doesn't mean anything to the world. Much like the prohibition of broadband in Iran doesn't mean anything to the rest of the world. As a side note, MPEG LA doesn't have anything to do with the MPEG organization or ITU

Also, the whole free/libre thing makes little sense for the reader that doesn't buy into the FSF propaganda (the "four freedoms" the FSF preaches about are not part of any UN chart and so people don't have to believe they are necessary freedoms). I think the word is "royalty-free". Since an article for "royalty-free" already exists, having an redirect for "free file format" is silly. "Free file format" is a term valid only for FSF believers and does not need to have an article or redirect.

I really hope some intelligent person gets to this post before any of the FSF zealots that patrol wikipedia articles and talk pages does and deletes it (they do that -deleting questions- instead of replying to them, being the ultra-democratic people they are) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:18, 1 November 2012 (UTC) <!d by SineBot-->

Formats and protocols are explicit standards.[edit]


Standards are required to meet interoperability requirements that reduce risk and failure.

Standards for metal screws have specified requirements for application purposes. Why? A screw when applied to a purpose / product that unexpectedly brakes or melts is a failure (possibly catastrophic).

A protocol (TCP/IP, Regulation …) when applied correctly allows the successful completion of an interoperability task. Why? A brake in any formalized protocol requirement will cause immediate or eventual failure.

A format (.txt, .png, .odt …) allow applications to open, save, and share information (data/content). Why? Data/content is formatted for presentation by the application. Applications must be capable of reading the formatted information and applying the presentation components for use by humans, software a/o hardware for successful interoperability between humans, software a/o hardware.

Without standards (Protocols, Formats …) there is no interoperability (except by sneaker-net, snail-mail, paper, and mouth). Why? Standards sustain application (screw, XML, HTML, IP, TCP, .txt …) interoperability, by assuring application integrity.

Integrity of standards assures interoperability and successful application for meeting requirements. W3C, OASIS, ISO, IEEE, ITU … are standards bodies/organizations that do assure standards integrity. However, standards integrity can be broke or modified to suit a business purpose of maintaining market-share, obscuring competition-compliance [AKA: finger-point blame-storming], ITs’ better interpretation of the standard ….

So, Open Standards, Formats, Protocols, Architectures … are “Open” but not application assured by any company, organization, law, government. Assurance of standards compliance is always “DOES IT WORK” or information (engineering data, publication content …) WYSIWYG, because standards, hardware platforms, and software applications are the interoperability handlers. The proof of interoperability is WYSIWYG at all points of delivery independent of platform and applications.

One notorious example is MSOffice.odt and LibreOffice.odf file formats. Depending on the version of MSOffice the presentation of the same .odf file (no tapering) on a MSOS platform you will get different presentations of the information. So, WYSIWYG, I will not assume MS-OfficeOpen is Open, the same applies for the MSOffice save of the .odt format. Maybe MSOffice was fixed sence last I checked.

If the application of the standard does not provide open, save, share, import, export … WYSIWYG information to all users and systems. Yes, WYSIWYG logic applies to all information consumers (users and systems information exchanges).

Adelophilia (talk) 15:47, 8 January 2013 (UTC)