☞ Regulate?

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  1. “while the page is overwhelmingly about open source they still feel compelled to mention open standards”

    Of course. While they’ve attained (or bought)
    prominent or lead involvement with a number of
    open source projects, the Oracle database itself
    is not open. Thus, it can only interoperate with other
    open source projects via open standards. In other words,
    the big cash cow uses open standards as a way of
    associating itself with open source for marketing purposes,
    without itself being open.

    That’s one view. Mine is closer to this: I value both
    open source and open standards, but if I had to choose
    one, it would be open standards (truly open, so that
    anyone can implement them without having to pay
    royalties, and so that embrace and extend strategies
    that exclude other players from key roles are not
    permitted while still claiming compliance).

    In the end, I want my documents, photos, and other
    media to just work with whatever application I choose,
    and to pick the application based on features,
    platform support, cost, etc. Open standards make
    that possible. Open source does too; but all too often,
    it fails to meet the discipline of separating specification
    from implementation. That leads to situations where
    one has to use the same code or at least read the
    code to interoperate, and it often leads to poorly
    designed formats and protocols.

    Too much open source, especially that which was
    originally the product of a single person, or that
    which began as an open project but with mostly
    self-taught designers, lacks the rigorous discipline
    in its design that would have avoided common errors,
    allowed for more precise documentation, and
    provided for balancing future growth and backwards
    compatibility in a rational manner.

    Prominent open source projects can certainly
    participate in open standards. They would do
    well not to ignore them, where applicable. Ad hoc
    standards just aren’t the same, lacking not only
    design and diversity of interests, but are all too often
    associated with the arrogance of early success.

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