Open Source or Open Standards? (Yes!) The Future has Arrived

Once upon a time – oh, say fifteen years ago – the terms open standards and open source software (OSS) were often used interchangeably. Not because they were the same thing, but because many people didn’t really know what either really was, let alone the differences between them. That was unfortunate, because at that time the two had little in common, and were developed for very different purposes. Recently, many people (especially OSS developers) have begun referring to the software they develop as ???a standard.??? This time around they’re a lot closer to being right. So, what’s going on here? And is it a good thing? The answer to the last question is mostly yes. Sometimes it’s even all good, as in the case of Kubernetes, the cloud container management software developed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation under the stewardship of The Linux Foundation (disclosure: the LF is a client of mine). We’ll come back to that example a little later.