ONLamp: Open Source and Open Standards
May 01, 2003, 11:30 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Saint-André)
"How critical are open standards to the viability of the open
source community? And which is a stronger guarantee of openness in
the technology ecosystem: open standards or open code?
"In a recent article entitled Open Standards versus Open Source,
Jonathan Schwartz of Sun Microsystems argues that open standards
(i.e., open protocols) are more important than open source code.
While he sets up an opposition between standards and source (that
little word 'versus' in his title), in reality there is no such
thing--the two are mostly orthogonal to each other and, as we shall
see, both are necessary.
"As you might expect, Schwartz's argument has not gone
unchallenged. For example, Kevin Werbach points out that open
source projects depend on open protocols (think Apache and HTTP,
proprietary products do, too (IIS, IE, Exchange). And Dave Winer,
while cautioning against the often-obfuscated output of the major
standards bodies, celebrates the diversity that results from open
formats and protocols: small development houses are free to create
closed implementations and thus are not tied to restrictive
licenses such as the GPL..."