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osOpinion: The Importance of Being Standard

[ 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.”

Complete
Story