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WylieWord/thdl_rationale.html

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<header>
<font size="+1">Our License</font>
</header>
<p>
<body>
The <a href="thdl_license.txt">THDL Open Community License</a>
is a free software license. The source code for our
software is completely open and public. We hope that others will contribute and build
upon what we've done, resulting in better, more useful products. The core of our license
is the <a href="opl_license.txt">Open Public License</a> (OPL), which is also used by <a href="http://www.enhydra.com/">Enhydra</a>.
The OPL is a slightly modified version of the popular <a href="http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mozilla1.0.html">
Mozilla Public License</a>.
<p>
With this license, you can:
<ol type="a">
<p><li>Modify our software, provided the source code for these modifications remains open,
and your changes are fully documented.
<p><li>Use our software in proprietary projects, or build proprietary extensions to the
software.
</ol><p>
Further, you must:
<ol type="a">
<p><li>Notify the THDL of your modifications.
<p><li>Acknowledge our initial contribution, as well as others' later contributions.
</ol>
<p>
As the creators of the software, our role is to keep track of developments and maintain
the source code. In fact, however, our goals are much broader than this. In particular, we
want to push the use of standard technologies. Both WylieWord and Jskad take advantage of
two technologies that have significant potential to bring those in Tibetan computing
together.
<p>
On the one hand, our software uses Tony Duff's new cross-platform Tibetan Machine
Web fonts. These are high-quality TrueType fonts, which are freely available and have
been tested and run identically on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux platforms. Documents
created on one platform will transfer unproblematically to any other platform. We hope
that by encouraging the use of and building infrastructure around these fonts, we can help
to promote a dominant and well-supported encoding format, which means less
information lost in the long run.
<p>
On the other hand, our software implements the THDL Extended Wylie Transliteration
Standard, our version of Extended Wylie. THDL Extended Wylie provides simple ASCII
correspondences for all Tibetan characters, including ways to represent Sanskrit stacks as
well as punctuation and many special characters. Until Unicode is a viable solution for
Tibetan computing, Extended Wylie is the best standard, logical, and platform-
independent solution for Tibetan data storage.
<p>
Combining these two technologies, we have created a Microsoft Word add-in and a Java
application for typing and editing Tibetan, as well as converting back and forth between
Extended Wylie and Tibetan Machine Web. Together, this software represents a uniform
and consistent solution to Tibetan text input, which is available on any platform and also
over the web. Many projects could benefit from this work, as well as customize it to meet
their specific needs.
<p>
Although our software is open, we want to promote the standards it employs. We don't
want our Extended Wylie keyboard to become "just another keyboard". Rather, we hope
it will become the Wylie keyboard, one that will become familiar to everyone in Tibetan
computing.
<p>
This is not to say that we at the THDL are allowed to fix the details of the Extended
Wylie transliteration system. What we have arrived at represents a carefully thought out
system, but certainly not the final answer. It remains a work in progress, and we hope that
everyone in Tibetan computing will play a role in shaping the system. We want to hear
your feedback, and thus to shape the standard together. What we don't want is a
profileration of multiple, differing implementations.
<p>
We hope that you will find this software useful. If you are a software developer, we hope
that this license is to your liking, and that you will join us in trying to create a community
of standards for Tibetan computing.
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