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Re: Some -15 comments

2005-11-15 11:48:45

Daniel A. Nagy wrote:

Okay, there is no urgency. But I still think, it is a legitimate feature
which does not require dramatic changes on implementations' part. At the
same time, it substantially decreases the roll-out costs of many
applications, not just mine. Basically, it would enable people to do more
things without having to write sofware. The "note from one person to
another" is a nice feature to be included in signatures. If, for obvious
reasons, 0x80 cannot carry this semantics, some other flag should.

In dealing with signatures-of-legal-import, you may
be saying that you want a "please-display-me" feature
in order to complete this process at the UI level.
But, the notion of a human signature is substantially (*)
more complex than that;  just displaying a comment
attached to a signature is unlikely to bring us close
enough to making the signature work as a legal one.

Which is to say I think this short-changes the subject
matter somewhat.  A full treatment of this will require
many more things than just one extra bit or just one
nice well written specification entry, and until
someone a) has a real need for it and b) does the extra
work to define all of the (wider, legal) aspects of
legally important signatures either in general or in
particular, we won't be able to predict it from here,
and (I claim) it is foolhardy to try.

The true issue here, as I see it, is that indeed, one can change the
semantics of notation wihout owning it. If notation flags are not
considered part of the notation (that is, their use is not restricted by the
notation specification), then such flags are more or less part of the
notation value, and should convey information only about the value part
(e.g. whether it is text, image, boolean, etc.). If this is the case, it
should be included in the wording of the standard.

In that case, the feature I would like to see will have to be implemented in
a completely different fashion, but still preferably in the standard, as it
is generally useful. On the other hand, I think that notation flags should
be part of the notation spec; you cannot put binary  data where the spec
requires text, so the spec may as well specify what flags to use and how
with the notation, even though the flags' semantics is the same across all

Hmm, not entirely sure I followed all that, and it
would probably help if I read the parts in as much
detail as others!  Having said that, if you are
suggesting that these semantics are better off left
to a higher layer called the "notation spec", then
I'd whole-heartedly agree.


PS: (*) C.f., the Ricardian Contract <insert blah blah etc etc here>.

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