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IT, Be Free! 133

Posted by michael
from the one-standard-to-rule-them-all dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Open Group, along with IBM, has published a 500-word document that it hopes developers will endorse. The 'Developer Declaration of Independence' enjoins corporations, governments, organizations, and individuals to adopt and protect open standards in order to promote interoperability among all vendors and give IT customers freedom of choice. The Boston-based Open Group promotes the POSIX open standard and sells compliance testing to OS vendors. It has not yet organized a 'Boston IT Party,' however."
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IT, Be Free!

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  • catchiness (Score:2, Interesting)

    by crazyray (776321) *
    comparing *declarations* , the phrase "MINDFUL of the desire and commitment..." just doesnt quite have the same catchiness as "We hold these truths to be self evident", does it? c'mon now, if you are gonna extol open source, shouldnt you claim it as self evident?
    • Re:catchiness (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      sorry I am so lazy that I am posting as AC, but has anyone ever discussed whether open source really is "self evident"?
    • Re:catchiness (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nathanh (1214) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @07:25AM (#9788182) Homepage
      comparing *declarations* , the phrase "MINDFUL of the desire and commitment..." just doesnt quite have the same catchiness as "We hold these truths to be self evident", does it? c'mon now, if you are gonna extol open source, shouldnt you claim it as self evident?

      They don't say "open source" anywhere in the declaration. They're talking about open standards. Arguably open standards are more important than open source. An open source product can splinter and produce two competing incompatible products, even though they are both open source. It takes a lot of effort to reconcile the splinter and sadly there is a lot of "heated" discussion involved in the reconciliation.

      But open standards are the ultimate arbitrator; a product either is or is not compliant with the standard. There are no arguments over who is right and who is wrong. The arguments were all over and done with once the standard was written. Agreed, sometimes standards are imperfect so there can be different interpretations, but standards are the strongest mechanism we have for coordinating many vendors to produce compatible products.

      Be aware that even in the open source world we have attempts at our own open standards (eg, LSB) and we have implementations of many open standards (eg, POSIX, X11, C#, LDAP). The marriage of open source and open standards is a formidable pairing. Far stronger than either element alone.

      We can safely assume that there will always be vendors who follow open standards but do not release open source. We can still work with those vendors. We do so every day when we network a Linux server with Cisco routers. Those vendors are still our friends. We can also work with vendors who write open source software but don't follow any open standards. They are also our friends, though IMO they are painful vendors to work with. And there will be some vendors who write open source and follow open standards. Those vendors are a dream come true.

      But be wary of vendors who don't release open source and don't follow open standards. There be dragons.

      • But be wary of vendors who don't release open source and don't follow open standards. There be dragons.

        No way, Dragons are cool... and closed software sucks, they are more like dung beetles.
      • Arguably open standards are more important than open source. An open source product can splinter and produce two competing incompatible products, even though they are both open source.

        I agree, but standards can fork too. If they fork less often it is only because standards committees tend to move far slower than open source projects. No simple example comes to minds but there have been things standardized slightly differently by both ANSI and ISO.

        So in general it's really nice if people will cooperate
      • >The marriage of open source and open standards is a
        >formidable pairing. Far stronger than either
        >element alone.

        Indeed. IMO our industry has for too long deluded itself that "open standards" of themselves are much of a solution to anything, when in fact history shows that vendors are too easily tempted to abandon them whenever convenient (UNIX wars, IBM's MCA, Microsoft, etc.)

        I'd say if it weren't for open source / free software, "open standards" would still be a nearly meaningless catchphrase.
      • Arguably open standards are more important than open source.

        Still, "open standards" aren't necessarily open to competition, as they can still be encumbered by submarine software patents.

    • Re:catchiness (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Drosera (799735)
      Is the need for open standards or open source "self evident"? To anybody in their mid-forties, or older, who studied any of the sciences, or anybody that studied the history of science, the answer is "yes".

      Almost all of the technology that we love was developed in an environment of free exchange of ideas. Individuals laboured in isolation or small groups and freely published their ideas and discoveries for others to adopt, adapt, or criticize.

      Derivative works made useful products - the production of which
  • Good Idea? (Score:5, Funny)

    by lustucru (720605) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:45AM (#9788093) Homepage
    I suggest 24th of July becomes a public holiday for IT people.
  • Great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OzPhIsH (560038) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:47AM (#9788097) Journal
    I really don't see the point in this. If you want to support open standards (as you should) then simply.... use open standards. We all know it. This isn't telling us anything we don't know already. People who aren't using them aren't checking out the OpenGroup's web site. This "Developer Declaration of Independence" is just another fluffy mission statement. Yeah it sounds great, but is it actually going to DO anything to help the problem?
    • It's not always possible to follow open standards, not all vendors use them, some will "embrace and extend" to lock you into thier "Standard". And no MS are not the only company to do this, just the biggest.
    • If everyone knew that open standards are good and supported them by using them then we'd have open standards. "We" may all know this, but then perhaps "we" are not the target of this declaration. Perhaps they hope to convince "corporations, governments, organizations, and individuals" that do not know and believe that open standards are good. Maybe they hope that the people who do know will see their statment and tell people who don't know about it.
    • This isn't telling us anything we don't know already.

      You mean like "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."?

      It might seem obvious to you or me or the guy in the next cubicle over, but to the rest of the world this is a new and (hopefully) revolutionary idea. If you write it down, it's easier to communicate and codify.

    • If you want to support open standards (as you should) then simply.... use open standards.

      Or ... introduce a (not-so-false*) dichotomy between "standard" and "non-standard".

      * Proprietary has to imply non-standard, doesn't it?
      • Proprietary does not have to mean non-standard. It may simply mean that a company doesn't want, for whatever reason, to Open Source their implementation of a standards compliant product.

        Just my $.02,
        Ron
    • if enough people sign this declaration it may have some power in persuading CIOs and other IT management types that Open Standards are beneficial to the corporations of which they are employees. Appealing to the herd instainct is sometimes very useful in dealing with PHBs. Also, a show of wide-spread support for Open Standards may cause companies that subscribe to the "embrace, extend, extinguish" school of thought to re-think their approach to the marketplace.

      Just my $.02,
      Ron
  • Open Group (Score:5, Informative)

    by ultrabot (200914) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:50AM (#9788101)
    From TFS (and TFA):
    The Boston-based Open Group promotes the POSIX open standard and sells compliance testing to OS vendors.

    It should be noted that this appears to be an explanation what Open Group is, rather than what the petition is about. I would feel uncomfortable signing something that helps them "sell compliance testing", but that's emphatically *not* what the petition seems to be about - and the summary gives it that unwanted spin.

    That said, this is great stuff. Open standards have always been the state of mind of every developer worth their salt (apart from those with extremely lucrative proprietary interests - IBM of yore, MSFT of today), but it's nice to see some more focused approach to promoting open standards.

    And these days, we got IBM backing us. No doubt various naysayers are eager to jump on the fact that openness is "convenient" to IBM, they are not altruistic, blah blah - but that's exactly what makes me feel comfortable: if openness was incovenient and required some kind of altruistic, it could stop by the time of next change of the exec team at IBM.
    • Um, that wasn't spin, that was a disclaimer. The Open Group has produced a document that endorses open standard. It's business is compliance testing for an open standard. The editors wanted to make sure everyone knew this, before people started going on about how it is just a deceitful business ploy.
      • Um, that wasn't spin, that was a disclaimer.

        Yes, that that's exactly what I wanted to point out. An unwary reader may very well draw some (wrong) conclusions about how this is just an attempt of Open Group to get some certification revenue or whatever. And a certification by Open Group doesn't matter that much these days anyway - Linux is the gold Unix standard, copyright/trademark/other irrelevant issues notwithstanding.
        • Linux isn't a Unix. It isn't POSIX compliant. And while Linux is gettting more room on Intel-farms, people with Suns, and other big machines are still going to go for Solaris, or other real Unixes.
          • Linux isn't a Unix.

            Luckily, seeing how much every "real" Unix appears to be a bitch for SCO.

            It isn't POSIX compliant.

            To the extent that it matters, it is (at least the kernel system call interface is, right?).

            And if Linux is not POSIX compliant, it's more of a problem for POSIX than Linux. I.e., POSIX is not Linux compliant :-).

            And while Linux is gettting more room on Intel-farms, people with Suns, and other big machines are still going to go for Solaris, or other real Unixes.

            That's not what the
            • Which market figures? The ones that are quoting how many new machines shipped with what OS? A high-end SPARC server costs $2.5 million - what weighting is that given compared to a $500 Walmart special? The ones from weblog traffic? How many people surf from their company's server? Then there's the fact that big iron like that isn't chucked every three years for newer models, like cheap workstations.

              Linux is good, and I'm not denying it, but it's place, at the moment, is as a personal server, or as part of
              • This link [ibm.com] seems to suggest otherwise.
              • Linux is good, and I'm not denying it, but it's place, at the moment, is as a personal server, or as part of a cluster of cheap computers.

                The place of Linux is where the hardware of modern IT landscape is going - sub-50k servers. 2.6 series kernels scale well to 32 CPUs (and we'll be seeing 2.6 on production servers this year), and having any more than that is usually waste, or a sign of sub-optimal software architecture (i.e. not trying to use the clustering approach).

                it sure as hell ain't running on
                • The place of Linux is where the hardware of modern IT landscape is going - sub-50k servers.

                  Agreed. But its not going there anytime soon. Companies with hugely expensive hardware are not going to just chuck it all out and start again. Just as there are still corporations who have huge programs written in Cobol or Fortran, there will still be companies with mainframes running Unix. Unix isn't going anywhere, not for a long time.
          • Re:Open Group (Score:2, Insightful)

            by mindstrm (20013)
            Linux isn't technically unix, but it's unix enough for anything that matters.

            It's posix compliant in enough. Can you name some posix feature that is missing that anyone cares about? Which parts of posix are you referring to?

            Sales figures would disagree with your comments about Sun hardware. Sun was not on top in some sectors because of posix compliance, nor the fact that they can use the unix trademark.

            Sun is in the process of losing it's high end oracle market right now, and oracle is moving customers
  • POSIX really represents everything that's wrong with the computer industry. No vendor really wants to implement a standard, they only do so grudgingly to apease customers. That's why standards implementation has always been quite poor.

    POSIX itself has been made largely irrelevant by the sucess of Linux. Standards orgainisations should learn from this - the world doesn't want standards that vendors can implement more or less correctly to provide a veneer of compatability. What the world wants is a free refe
    • by a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @07:00AM (#9788126) Homepage Journal


      Linux are mostly based on Posix. Some things are not defined in Posix and some things are not so good in Posix but mostly Linux follows Posix.

      And thats a good thing!

    • What colour is the sky on your planet?
    • by flacco (324089) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @07:10AM (#9788148)
      POSIX really represents everything that's wrong with the computer industry.

      really? that's strange. if i were to pick something that "represents everything that's wrong with the computer industry", i'd have to say the POSIX standard is down around 12,543rd on my list.

      No vendor really wants to implement a standard, they only do so grudgingly to apease customers.

      what? vendors go to work every day merely to appease customers? what a scandal.

      POSIX itself has been made largely irrelevant by the sucess of Linux. Standards orgainisations should learn from this - the world doesn't want standards that vendors can implement more or less correctly to provide a veneer of compatability. What the world wants is a free reference implementation that works and which other implemetations if they need to exist at all, can be compared to.

      dude, you've been drinking the bong-water again, haven't you?

      If vendors want to waste money funding organisations like the Open Group that's their problem, but organisations like the Open Group shouldn't expect anyone to really care about the useless documents they create.

      you heard it here first folks: open standards are useless. now i think i'll just post this HTML reply here over this TCP/IP internet thingy so you can read it with the browser and operating system of your choice.

    • by Kynde (324134)
      That's called a troll where I come from. And there's no need to feed it just because few moderators were so easily fooled.
    • No vendor really wants to implement a standard, they only do so grudgingly to apease customers.

      Rubbish.
      That applies to vendors who want to hang on as long as possible to their piece of an ever diminishing pie. That does not apply to vendors who seriously want to be around for a long time.

      A vendor's attitute toward standards telegraphs a lot of how the vendor views its own competence. IBM's support of open standards indicates their desire to compete in an improved playing field and their belief in their o
      • "IBM's support of open standards indicates their desire to compete in an improved playing field and their belief in their own competence to successfully compete in that same field."

        IBM's support of open standards is motivated by the fact that they haven't been able to compete on the basis of original ideas in a long time. By making software a commodity, they hope that their large size will make them the dominant vendor.
    • I've read RFCs and other standards documents and have come to the conclusion that they are useless. They use overly verbose English, so implementations usually deviate from the specification. With all that verbosity, you'd think they wouldn't allow things to be unspecified, but it happens anyway.

      So much time spent just to specify something, then on top of that, many people spend time actually making an implementation so a specification can actually be useful.

      How many people actually implement on a stand

    • > What the world wants is a free reference implementation that works and which other
      > implemetations if they need to exist at all, can be compared to.

      Yes. But to have a reference implementation, you need to have the standard of which it's a reference.
      SRW (http://www.loc.gov/srw [loc.gov]) has 3 different reference implementations, in Java, C and Python and all OSS. But without the SRW standard, could you tell what was going on? I doubt it.

      --Azaroth
    • Not true (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cruff (171569)
      All of my code at work is written to POSIX and other ANSI/ISO standards (C, C++), exactly for the reason that it produces portable code. This allows us to be vendor neutral when it comes to choosing hardware. We've been able to move our code to new POSIX compliant systems, often only needing to make changes due to things like big-endian/little-endian or compiler/library bug work arounds.

      The vendors typically are good about fixing standards conformance problems, especially when I say I'll just have to buy
  • poor effort (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jmitchel!jmitchel.co (254506) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:51AM (#9788106)
    1> why doesn't the article include a direct link to the damn thing.

    2> The declaration stinks of pointy haired people sitting in afternoon long meetings. I suppose it serves as a way to explain the value of openness to other pointy-haired people. As a Declaration of Independence, the prose soars exactly the way a bowling ball droped from a tall building might (it doesn't).

    3> It still seems a little rich for IBM to be supporting a document that contradicts every aspect of IBM business practices through nearly its entire existence.
    • 1. It's a direct link all right,

      2. If PHB's don't understand, what's the point in trying? What is so wrong about putting out a coherent statement about open source goals? Does it threaten you?

      3. Granted, IBM invented many of the industry's sharp practices. What other companies haven't appreciated perhaps is their long view, which is that in the end, it hurt more than it helped them. Now, when they realize what network effects you can get from open source, and make serious efforts to get behind OSS develop
      • "What other companies haven't appreciated perhaps is their long view, which is that in the end, it hurt more than it helped them."

        It's not IBM's long view, it's IBM's current view. When it was to their advantage to be closed, they were closed. Now that they can't benefit as much from being closed, they support open standards (although they haven't given up much of their mountain of IP).

        Should they find in the future that they can make more money being closed, they will be. It's not philosophy, it's not re
        • And yet shouldn't we be satisfied that at least one major player in the world has it's eyes open and is adapting to new business models?

          Most /.ers will lambast the MPAA and the RIAA for their draconian tactics to hold on to their out dated business model, and now when IBM implements and tries to spearhead industry change they are attacked because they're a business, and obviously not in the game for altruistic reasons.

          I like IBM because instead of using their enormous financial weight to beat down and opp
          • "I like IBM because instead of using their enormous financial weight to beat down and oppress the open source movement (like other businesses) they are adapting and changing and trying to find ways to allow this model to be profitable."

            IBM isn't opressing the open source movement because it doesn't threaten its business. If IBM's revenue depended almost entirely on software sales as does MS's, then they'd be fighting it too.
    • Re:poor effort (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ashtead (654610)
      1> why doesn't the article include a direct link to the damn thing.

      It does. Towards the end it reads:

      The document is available online [opengroup.org] , along with a form [opengroup.org] that can be used to "sign" it.

      2> The declaration stinks of pointy haired people sitting in afternoon long meetings. Not sure if I disagree here. Its form reminds me of these stuffy CEPT resolutions I have seen quoted in the old Radio Amateurs Handbook. On the other hand, there are only so many ways such a declaration could be formatted. And

    • The declaration stinks of pointy haired people sitting in afternoon long meetings.

      Declarations that matter tend to be made by such people. Geeks in the cubicles (including your truly) can "declare" anything they want, and the world around tends to ignore it ;-).
      • Hmm, I see your point.

        "I claim this cube for Spain!!!"

        Meanwhile, life in the office goes on as before. Especially since this isn't the first time said geek stood up and made a declaration.
    • This is classic IBM lots of words but umm so what. They will be telling thier employees all about "mindshare" and showing "who stole my cheese" videos as training. Yes, I lived through "e-bussiness" and now see Dilbert as a documentary.
  • Free? (Score:4, Funny)

    by News for nerds (448130) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:55AM (#9788116) Homepage
    When IT gets really free, we no longer see articles about cheap IT jobs outsourced to India, right?
    • This line - the outsourcing of IT - reminds me of a legendary conversation with the great (?) philosopher Hegel.

      Hegel was spouting off about his evolutionary view of history (Darwin did /not/ invent evolution, just applied this peculiarly 19th century obsession to a new area). Specifically, the evolutionary history of the New Testament church, and some poor student had the temerity to point out that "But, sir, the facts are otherwise." According to legend - I have no idea if its true - Hegel said "so muc

      • Re:Free? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ClosedSource (238333)
        If you're going to claim that there are facts that don't support the conclusion, it would be helpful if you actually stated the conclusion and the facts that don't support it.
  • i like the idea of a common "open standards statement" that explicitly lays out the advantages of using open standards. it could attain an identity, like the GPL has for licensing, and thus become a more concrete concept in developers' and IT managers' minds.

    on the other hand, i don't care for the "whereas", "resolved", and "let it henceforth be known" style language used. it just sounds too much like one of those undergraduate student government resolutions denouncing female circumcision in west africa

    • i like the idea of a common "open standards statement" that explicitly lays out the advantages of using open standards.

      Except that it would be a lot more valuable if it offered precise meanings of the words "open" and "standard."

      Ignoring for the moment the definition of "open", which of the following are standards:

      • Java(tm)
      • Perl
      • C#
      • SAX (the XML API)
      • Macromedia Flash(tm)
      • XML
      • Microsift Word(tm)
      • Adobe PDF

      I believe an argument can be made for each of these being a "standard," but for different

  • Ironic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mark_MF-WN (678030) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @07:03AM (#9788137)
    It's ironic that IBM would even MENTION open standards and freedom, given their track record. They hold thousands of patents, and don't think twice about using them to crush competition. The only reason that we don't have high-quality arithmetic compression tools is that IBM has been holding a patent on a necessary algorithm for years. Also, IBM are active members of the TCPA.

    Don't be fooled by their recent Linux-friendly stance. IBM are no different than Microsoft, HP, or any other big company,

    • Don't be fooled by their recent Linux-friendly stance. IBM are no different than Microsoft, HP, or any other big company

      it's true that the interests of IBM and the F/OSS community just happen to coincide at the moment, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have a beer with them and accept any no-strings-attached help they might offer us.

      • I won't disagree with you there. I love Eclipse, IBM's wonderful donation to the world of Free IDE's. I'll start being impressed when IBM releases their patented algorithms under some sort of GPL-for -patents.
    • Re:Ironic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ultrabot (200914) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @07:25AM (#9788180)
      They hold thousands of patents, and don't think twice about using them to crush competition

      That's hardly a fault with IBM, rather than a fault with the patent system. If the law allows it, and you have tons of attorneys and patent people, you patent everything you can. They can prove to be useful for crushing competitors at some point, or defending yourself agains patent attacks. It's quite basic logic, in fact.

      Abolishing the SW patent laws needs to happen at government level. I've said this before, but we need an all-out hostile patent lawsuit that is so ridiculous and hurts the industry so much that any idiot can see the damage, rather than this slow suffocating effect of just hindering potential growth and improvements in the state of technology. Nobody sees if progress doesn't happen, but everybody sees direct damage and can draw the conclusions.
      • That's a poor argument. Just because it is allowed by law doesn't mean you should do it. Of course, you mention it as logic and not ethics, so my point is moot.
    • Don't be fooled by their recent Linux-friendly stance. IBM are no different than Microsoft, HP, or any other big company.

      Those companies are all separate. That's why they have different names and different stock symbols.

      IBM's business strategy involves supporting open standards. They have worked out a services model that enables them to grow their business harmoniously with the proliferation of open standards.

      Sorry about the high-quality arithmetic compression tools, dude. I guess it is an impe

    • If services for open standards consulting is growing, IBM will buy up some of the players. This is what they have done in the past with Rational, Apache(WebSphere), etc, etc. The only difference with MS is that they have to keep this stuff at bay while they change to a service company.
  • We hold... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Scrab (573004)
    these truths to be self evident, that all software is created equal, and that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights...

    On second thoughts, perhaps not...
  • Ahh.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by StarfishOne (756076)


    How did that joke go again?

    Oh, yeah: I Blame Microsoft

    :-D

  • by BillsPetMonkey (654200) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @07:27AM (#9788187)
    Lots of it. Apart from when I have to go to the job centre once a fortnight on Thursday.

    I'm glad I've got IBM on my side. They've certainly been doing their bit for the UK software industry.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 24, 2004 @07:30AM (#9788196)
    Open standards can exist in a completely proprietary environment. Open standards should, however, ensure interoperability. In that regard, open standards should be a legal requirement. Vendor lockin should be considered to be restraint of trade.

    I also wonder if this declaration could be viewed as anti-DMCA? That would be radical.

    Anyway, when I went to the document, the counter was only at 916 so we're not exactly slashdotting them. Maybe that is some indication of how interested the community is.
  • by Morgaine (4316) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @07:31AM (#9788200)
    I detect an inconsistency. Developer freedom is going to be under severe attack if every consumer application is going to have to be acceptable to the RIAA and their equivalent in other areas, yet IBM directly sponsors Sen Hatch who is pushing the INDUCE act forward.

    We tend to consider IBM as the good guys because of their fight with SCO, but they cannot fail to see that a total clampdown on access to content effectively brings a sledgehammer down on much open source development.
    • Developer freedom is going to be under severe attack if every consumer application is going to have to be acceptable to the RIAA and their equivalent in other areas, yet IBM directly sponsors Sen Hatch who is pushing the INDUCE act forward.

      Maybe they "support" Sen Hatch because they feel that throwing him a bribe or two is going to give their opinions more weight (on whatever they want to oppose or push, not just the INDUCE act)?

      After all, isn't that exactly how politics works these days in the good ol

    • IBM directly sponsors Sen Hatch

      Cite please. "Sponsor" how? Hatch's son is suing IBM as an attorney for SCO.

      • Cite please. "Sponsor" how?

        I'm glad you asked that, 3.2.3, as you made me go back and check my sources. IBM ***does not*** appear in the Hatch contributor's list at http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.as p ?CID=N00009869&cycle=2002 [opensecrets.org] and I would tend to believe the info on that page, so I think that I made a mistake in repeating hearsay about IBM without checking. Maybe one of those companies has IBM connections and that's what people were pointing to, but I want facts not speculation. Darn
        • Thanks for the reply, Morgaine. Thanks for the cite. And no need to apologize. I just wanted to know "sponsor" how. If I were a moderator, I'd say, "+1, please," to your reply.

          If it means donate, IBM doesn't even have a PAC. It doesn't want one. It goes back to the 70s when the entire IBM board came pretty close to being indicted for illegal campaign contributions to CREEP. Somehow, they got off. But entire boards like for RJ Reynolds went to jail for doing pretty much the same thing IBM's board did.

  • I appreciate the drollery of the Boston IT party joke. Hilarious, well done!
  • The Open Group publishes the Single Unix Standard (SUS); the IEEE publishes the POSIX standard. The latest version of POSIX is a subset of the latest version of the SUS, but only after a long coordination effort.
  • editor-check (Score:3, Informative)

    by nusratt (751548) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @08:32AM (#9788322) Journal
    "The 'Developer Declaration of Independence' enjoins corporations, governments, organizations, and individuals to adopt and protect open standards"

    in a 'Declaration of Independence', I doubt you meant:

    enjoin \en-JOIN\, transitive verb:
    1. To direct or impose with authority; to order.
    2. To prohibit; to forbid.

    perhaps you meant:

    exhort
    v. exhorted, exhorting, exhorts
    v. tr.
    To urge by strong, often stirring argument, admonition, advice, or appeal: exhorted the troops to hold the line.
    • Agreed. The declaration itself could use some editorial work as well - what a poorly written piece of dren.

      I agree with the concepts the declaration is intended to support and would happily sign it, if it were written in anything even remotely resembling meaningful and legible language. I mean, talk about a run-on sentence! The ifrst one is 300 words long! That's an accomplishment in itself.

      Seriously though, I'm sure some will say that if the concepts are worthy then folks should sign it, and never mi
    • That's exactly what I was thinking. I'm most used to seeing the second definition in actual use. I was wondering how and why they wanted to forbid open-source...
  • by philovivero (321158) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @08:42AM (#9788344) Homepage Journal
    I agreed wholeheartedly with the declaration. I tried to "sign" the declaration, but it consistently rejected my (multiple attempts at) entering an email address. It said "the email addresses do not match."

    Don't be surprised if not too many people with qmail-destined email addresses sign up. (I'm using the "myname-organisation@domain.tld" format email address).
  • Isn't the GPL (granted its not a declairation of independance) in effect stronger than this (to use an analogy) roman numeral accountants supporting document?

    • No, because the GPL in no way asks for adherence to POSIX or any other standard. There are plenty of apps out there (Ximian Evolution for example) that are built around supporting proprietary extensions that other vendors have created, or they work to create their own. As someone stated before Open Source != Open Standard, as there is plenty of OSS that does not adhere to Open Standards and plenty of closed source software (CSS, oooo!) that does adhere to open standards (Apple iCal).
  • by argoff (142580) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @11:50AM (#9788995)

    I remember in 95,there were allot of people who considered me absolutely foolish for wanting to drop promising career opportunities in Oracle,Microsoft,and SCO Enterprise Unix for Linux.Back then I remember hearing million dollar speakers who couldn't get the future right 18 mo's out,but none the less I hit the nail on the head 10 years out into the future.I wanted to share my thinking,because I think it will benefit other people too.

    History teaches that during the 1800's there were many people who believed that the entire meaning and purpose of the industrial revolution was to leverage inventions like the cotton gin to expand their plantations for unlimited growth and profit.Ironically just the opposite was true,the industrial revolution actually demanded a mobile and skilled workforce.

    It didn't matter that the plantation system was vastly powerful,it didn't matter that the plantation system had many of the most wealthy,educated,resourceful,and well connected people on the planet.More importantly it didn't matter that slavery existed for 1000s of years,that they paid allot of money for those slaves,and it was upheld by the full force of law at every level of government,and was considered a property right.What mattered was was that society needed to move into the industrial age,but simply couldn't until employers could hire labor at will and on demand without fear or concern over who "owned" them.(not to mention that slavery was just plain evil)

    Today many in media circles believe that the entire meaning and purpose of the information age is to use inventions like the internet to leverage their copyright holdings to the far reaches of the earth for unlimited growth and profit.Ironically,just the opposite is true,the information age demands the unrestricted flow of information.

    It doesn't matter that the media system is vastly powerful, it doesn't matter that the media system has many of the most wealthy,educated,resourceful,and well connected people on the planet.More importantly it doesn't matter that copyrights have existed for 100s of years,that they paid allot of money for them,and they are upheld by the full force of law at every level of government,and are called a property right.What matters is that society needs to move into the information age,but simply can't until companies and people can use information at their disposal at will without fear or liability in regards to who "owns" every little piece of it.

    History shows that just because an institution calls something a property right, doesn't mean that it is. Just because an institution calls something an incentive doesn't mean that it is. Just because an institution looks successful on the surface, doesn't mean it is. That the future is formed by facts, and not the common beliefs of the day. Most importantly that the surest way to become irrelavent is to sit the fense, attempt to appease both sides, or to aviod taking sides at all.

    It is no accident that Microsoft is under siege by Linux, Hollywood is under siege by p2p networks, and publishers are under siege by from alternate sources of content on the internet. All these forces have in common that they are forcing society to move away from the control of media, content, and information. Likewise, I also think it is in my best interest, and others best interest to do so too and hold our success accountable to it.

    By pushing to rely on software like Linux and other open source software and having a bias against proprietary software, information, and content when possible (even when a little inconvenient). It will create opportunities, like it did for me, as time goes on rather than disasters every time an improvement in information technology happens along. It will lead to technology solutions that are more reliable, secure, and interoperable, while at the same time being less costly. It will create a migration of technology that tends to change for improvement make rather than the sake of obsoleting unprofitable versions. It will lead to solution

    • I, too, guessed correctly when I bet my entire life and career on Linux and Open Source. But, I did it in 1993, so that makes me geniuser than you I suppose. Just kidding.

      My decision was purely pragmatic. I was a big Borland compiler fan, and I expected their next release to be a protected mode compiler, with a DOS extender built in. Instead, they gave us a compiler with a GUI that I didn't want, and support for MS Windows that I didn't want. Now, I really am a very smart guy, and you can normally only foo
  • hooray.

    now finally there is a reason to harass gary gerchak (ggerchak@us.ibm.com) into getting off his arse in stalling the release of dce 1.2.2 under the LGPL license.

    gary gerchak is the ibm opengroup committee member.

    ibm is the ONLY original copyright holder that has NOT agreed to dual-license dce 1.2.2 under the LGPL.
  • Isn't it contradictory with software patent ?
  • by chris_mahan (256577) <chris.mahan@gmail.com> on Saturday July 24, 2004 @05:42PM (#9790838) Homepage
    We the People of Earth, understanding that information technology is an extension of the Human Mind, and seeking equality between men, hereby proclaim:

    That all technology which is used to transfer knowledge and information shall be made available to all people without prejudice, at no cost, that no barriers to aquisition of this technology shall be erected, and that all such existing barriers shall immediately be removed.

    Let it be understood by all that we are clear in our purpose, strong in our resolve, and determined to reach our goal.

    Now, quite unrealistic you say? Methinks the signers of the Declaration of Independence had little hope that the King of England would say "Oh, but of course.

  • Of course not - there's no outside force here stopping expansion westwards into Native American lands or abolishing the tax on tea that was funding a big chunk of local govenment. Whatever the grubby motives, it was a step that led to the USA - but something to be proud of? Read some history guys.
  • I don't want to take anything away from IBM or The Open Group, indeed, I'd applaud them for their work on the side of goodness and light. But doesn't something along these lines seem to happen every few years? It feels like El Niño is back again.

    Open standards are a good thing when the alternative is a proprietary "standard" that someone else controls, or when there's no standard at all. Open standards are not so good when you control (and maybe license to others) the de facto standard. Microsoft and
  • > The Open Group, along with IBM, has published a 500-word document that it hopes developers will endorse.
    > From the article: Open standards create more options to address IT needs...
    > From the article: The subjection - or "lock-in" - of developers to single-vendor technology constitutes a denial of self-determination...
    > From the article: Cooperation among all developers is called for to increase awareness, adoption, and protection of open standards

    IBM needs to practice what it preaches an

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