I'm in Brussels now to talk at the EICTA workshop called "Interoperability- achieving widespread access to new services and applications of the Information Society" tomorrow. It's an important topic, but one that needs to be approached carefully to avoid misinformation and, in general, FUD. People in our industry have put so much extra meaning into words like "open", "standards", and "interoperability" itself. I think it's time we brought these back to simpler, more basic meanings and then worked up from there. It's amazing I can still "open" a door without a 75 page appendix telling me what this really means and why I may not want to do it because it might be bad for me.
Here are some questions you should be able to answer or at least discuss intelligently in this area:
- What are the difference between open standards and open source?
- Is open source just a business model?
- Name three products that contain both open and proprietary source code.
- Does the GPL apply to all open source projects?
- Are there more open source licenses or proprietary software licenses?
- How many times have you done something today that caused open source software to be used?
- Does anyone use the Apache web server?
- How does open source lower the barriers to entry around open standards?
- What roadblocks to interoperability are permissible? Any? In what context?
- Do we need the same policies around patents for hardware and software?
- Where does innovation come from?
- What is the right balance today between open innovation and proprietary innovation? What will the balance be next year? In five years? How are you planning to capitalize on that?
Gee, that was cathartic!
Here are a few articles to read and then I have to get back to work: