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osOpinion: The Importance of Being Standard

Aug 30, 2000, 08:21 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gary Lawrence Murphy)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"Open source software has an implicit connection to RFC standards-based protocols. There are many reasons for this, and one of them may even be laziness (it is easier to follow standards than to re-invent them) but the net result is best exemplified by our star child of the open source movement, the Internet world of open participation. The Internet illustrates the great power of an open and welcoming infrastructure, so why do we have such trouble trying to pry American business from proprietary messaging standards or to pry consumers from a proprietary desktop? Why do we have such trouble explaining the vital importance of the DeCSS decision or the need to open software licensing?"

"I don't think we will ever get the "average consumer" to understand open source or open standards any more than they understand the IEEE standards that dictate current requirements and I/O impedience values in silicon chips. These issues are irrelevant to their purposes and only make sense to IC designers who know that, to survive in the "use anyone's ICs" world of electronics, you go with standards or you shoot yourself in the foot. Would TI even consider creating a DSP chip that only worked in circuits composed entirely of TI chips? The idea seems absurd, but in the 1960's that is exactly what was happening."

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