Standards Blog

PDF: EC Takes One Step Forward, Two Steps Back in Openness

In 2004, the EU issued an “Enterprise Interoperability Framework” that included the most expansive definition of open standards ever seen in a government recommendation. Now it has issued a new version of the EIF with strong support for open source software, but a dramatically more conservative approach to open standards.

The Oxymoron of Corporate Controlled “Community” Projects.

Some of the most widely used and important open source projects of the last decade have been hosted and funded by individual companies rather than legally independent non-profit entities. Such corporate hosting can not only inhibit success in the short term, but place community developers and open source users at risk in the long run as well.

PDF: Looking Back at SCO: What Did it All Mean?

For the past eight years, a technology company called SCO Group has waged a single-minded and ultimately self-destructive barrage of litigation against IBM, Novell, and the Linux operating system. Paradoxically, the onslaught made Linux stronger, and the role of open source in the modern marketplace more secure.

PDF: Here We Go Again: Video Standards War 2010

What exactly is it about the video/consumer electronics industry that craves a good standards war every few years? Whatever the answer, it’s that time again. Only this time, with a new twist.

Smart Phones, eBook Readers, and “Same Old, Same Old”

Some things never seem to change. One is the desire of some vendors to conquer the world through the use of proprietary standards, rather than share even greater wealth by using open ones. Another one is that this strategy rarely works for long.

Nurturing the Flower of FOSS at the CodePlex Foundation

Successful FOSS projects are invariably based upon a delicate balance of power between individual developers and corporate interests — a mutually beneficial relationship that does not always develop. In two recent blog entries, I gave my views on how that feat can best be achieved at the open software support foundation just launched by Microsoft.

PDF: A New Voice for Open Source in Government

The U.S. federal agencies are already heavy users of open source software, despite the fact that there has never been a unified voice in Washington advocating for the uptake of free and open source software. This month, a new organization was launched to fill that void.