Why I like open standards continued

Let’s pick up where I left off a few days ago… When people talk about development of open source software the name Richard Stallman tends to come up (GCC, GNU Emacs). I actually met Richard Stallman once, very briefly. He was giving a lecture at the University of Texas where I once attended. The whole notion of copy-lefting was a new fangled concept and every developer went goo goo ga ga over the idea. I remember standing up to ask the question: “With the recent adoption of non-copylefted copyrights by Apache, BSD, Perl and others becoming more popular, isn’t this going to allow them entry into the corporate world?”

He briefly answered “so?” He almost seemed to laugh at me. The rest of his answer was a rant about how copylefting was the real future, etc. Whoops! Ha! Who is this super passionate techno dinosaur in need of a haircut? Come on, I remember thinking, even Steve Jobs manages to pull off being cool.

And in walked Linus Torvalds, the loveable Finn who introduced us to the bazaar way to do things. Linux opened the door. The new slew of licenses bridge the gap and open source has become more and more accepted in the corporate world. Our current economic climate is actually accelerating this trend. Who wants to pay millions in licenses when you’re going broke? Who wants to wait for a release to see what code gets released?

Open standards have cathedrals, bazaars, and I would argue flea markets as well. Google is flea market, microsoft is a cathedral (which thinks it is the vatican), What does Yahoo mixed with Microsoft mean? Time will tell and I will be watching…

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