Bonum Certa Men Certa

“Open” as in “Not Free” and “Non-Standard”

Open until sunset



Summary: The connotation and meaning of the word "open" continue to degrade

ONE OF the real issues that we have with Novell at the moment is its promotion of Microsoft XAML [1, 2, 3, 4] (departure from web standards), which people like O'Reilly conveniently ignore as there is a conflict of interests perhaps.



Earlier this month we wrote about the 'Open' Web Foundation (OWF), which is not open. It's not surprising that Microsoft advances it, but then again, the W3C too is at risk (from Apple and Microsoft).

Microsoft makes five Web specifications available under the recently created Open Web Foundation Agreement, or OWFa.


The OWF messes about with software patents, which Microsoft must love. Last week we also warned about API nonsense being described as "open", which it is not (unless the word "open" loses its semantics altogether). It is about APIs being exposed to programmers outside one vendor, but an interface is all that is.

Some Web services are connecting to Microsoft's proprietary software via APIs (latest one is LinkedIn [1, 2], which is also proprietary). With eBay doing roughly the same type of thing some days ago [1, 2, 3] it becomes important to reject the word "open" in this context or abandon the word altogether. We previously compared Mono to Open Core. It's definitely not Free software, not by reasonable criteria relating to redistribution.

Open sign
Lights out for "open"?



"If thought can corrupt language, then language can also corrupt thought."

--George Orwell

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