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  Open Source and Open Standards
Subject:   Without Open Protocols, Open Source is Useless
Date:   2003-05-01 07:07:09
From:   anonymous2
The days of being legally able to reverse engineer Closed protocols are gone thanks to the DMCA and software patents. Thus, unless a protocol is Open, any Open Source program that uses said Closed protocols is likely to be sued out of existence if it becomes a threat to profitability of the protocol's source. Microsoft has not acted against unauthorized uses of the Word doc format, but it could easily decide to and that would largely spell the end of alternative word processors, at least in the business world.
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  • You're right.
    2003-05-01 19:04:50  anonymous2 [View]

    And likewise, if someone creates a closed-source product that uses open-protocols, then other products (both open and closed) are free to compete with it.

    I support the open-source community because they are the ones who generally support open protocols.

  • Have you thought this through?
    2003-05-01 12:25:14  fmcgowan [View]

    Everything is in the source code, isn't it? The protocols are implemented in code. The formats are implemented in code.

    Open source - at least that released under the GPL and LGPL - pretty much guarantees open standards, doesn't it? Just how proprietary can a format or protocol be if the source code MUST be provided to any user who requests it?

    Right now, Microsoft has the position in the PC software market that IBM had in the PC hardware market early on. When IBM introduced Micro-Channel Architecture and insisted on using it as a means of collecting back royalties, the clone makers refused to play along and IBM essentially lost the entire PC market. The fact that MCA was technically superior meant nothing. It was a licensing issue.

    According to the various CIO surveys I read from time to time, Microsoft's Licensing 6 already has a large proportion of previously loyal Windows shops looking to implement something cheaper, possibly OpenOffice. A new and incompatible DOC file format, protected from reverse engineering by DMCA and only available to Windows users, may be all the encouragement they need. If so, the new "standard" document format could easily be the Star/OpenOffice "Writer" native format - SXW.
  • Without Open Protocols, Open Source is Useless
    2003-05-01 08:34:15  anonymous2 [View]

    question.. who is microsoft going to sue?? remember that even some of their executives said that their problem w/ open source was that there wasn't a company to go after.... i mean with OpenOffice i guess you could go after sun... but all Sun would do would be to completely seperate itself from the project and wash its hands ;)