Defending Openness

Things have been going pretty well for open source and open standards recently. First, there was the implosion of the SCO case, in the wake of which even SCO accepts that it may not be around much longer. Then we had the rejection of Microsoft's request for a fast-track approval of its OOXML rival to ODF. Finally, the European Court of First Instance has refused Microsoft's request for an annulment of the terms imposed by the European Commission. All are notable victories that many regarded as unlikely a few years ago. But elsewhere, other open movements are still in the early stages of the struggle against forces pushing closed, proprietary standards.

As case in point is the world of open access. This is a movement to make the results of research freely available online so that others can build on them, and thus advance science and arts more quickly, to the benefit of all. It was not only directly inspired by the growing success of free software in the late 1990s, but displays some extraordinary parallels with it. As I wrote back in 2006:

Like all great movements, open access has its visionary – the RMS figure - who constantly evangelizes the core ideas and ideals. In 1976, the Hungarian-born cognitive scientist Stevan Harnad founded a scholarly print journal that offered what he called “open peer commentary,

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The Year of OpenSource...

Online Shopping's picture

I'm hoping – and expecting – to see more of this kind of thing. I know that every year people say 'this is the year for OpenSource' but the truth is that every year is certainly getting better. We actually don't want 'a year for OpenSource' because that makes it just a trend and flash in the pan sort of thing. Rather, the slow progress makes for sustainability – which is what OpenSource will really be about. My money is still on OpenSource, and definitely on Linux and especially the potentiality of Ubuntu!

Openess

James Burt's picture

I agree and support open software, it really helps in the technological advancement. Those business that do not support open source is purely out to make money and i feel that they will not last long because open source are able to advance more quickly because of the support of the public at large.

Regards,
James Burt

Openness and Climate Data

Anonymous's picture

You may be interested in the Climate Audit blog. The Global Warming team have a lot wrong with their data, and are trying to hide it - their latest tactic is to declare any data which does not support global warming 'Restricted', and hence unavailable for comment!

The Intelle-ball

George Ronald Adkisson's picture

I have been announcing what I call 'the Intelle-ball' despite what I find the United States Government doing...as we discovered in August that the US had made an Intelle-ball that ran in a vaccum. I simply will not accept this as I do see a hard drive as open source, (because we start with all highs, lows, ones or zeros)...That to me plus the controls do give weight to what I claim.

I then have undertaken the steps to announce this to the community of Linux...and I also announced a program I called a '360 degree morph stick-man'...that allows a 360 degree field of view plus those within the field to see each other as we see ourselves in life. An advantage is we then may, with a cartoon effect, communicate with each other and the languages are translated by caption, as a cartoon is communicated in a commic strip. This allows the eventual visit in person and those you see or saw on the computer, to readily recognize you; allowing use as a home, enterprise or gaming platform.

I have for a long time recognized the advantages of Linux...and enjoyed using many distributions....I also found that when you use an Intelle-ball...the writing surface may be cut in v's thus allowing simultaneous read and write of 4 sectors at one time. Then with the heads or lazers pivoted up and down plus around the geometric ball in the opposing rotation the ball rotates...we see the fast exchange of information, faster than a regular hard-drive could accomplish.

So... not only may we use the intelle-ball as a replacement for a hard-drive...we may use it for the replacement of the cd-rom's disc and the DVD, etc.

Permanately burning a chosen group of modules that make up a linux program, on individual intelle-balls, rids the risk of viruses and other programs that operating systems normally encounter. This also allows the multiple use of slower processors, example: a group of AMD processors that run from the boot of the same first 640k...or corresponding processors for each intelle-ball, and taking into consideration that some processors may be faster that others according to demand. Then a corresponding intelle-ball to read and write on allows the swap area we need during normal operations.

Another idea is the use of what I call 'Killer Cookies' that shut other computers down with a 'kill' command. This allows the ones that normally try to hack a computer to find they will be shut down before they have time to accomplish any action. I also see where we may use a cookie, that upon entering a web site; times out, then we, when not stealth again or behind a fire-wall, are without identifying cookies. This adds security and gives us more consent and privacy.

Please give all I have communicated some thought, then if agreeable help me announce this to the community as a shared project. I may be found listed as gradkiss on the search engines. ( google, ask,etc.) I have found that some think I am spaming this...but the truth is I am trying to accomplish something liken that the founder of Linux; accomplishing years ago what we see today as open source .

Sincerely,

George Ronald Adkisson

Other similarities

Gavin Baker's picture

You may be interested in a recent post I wrote for my blog: Open access, open education, and FOSS.

It explores some of the similarities between FOSS and OA. I hadn't noticed this angle -- that the detractors of FOSS and OA use similar tactics.

Thanks

Glyn Moody's picture

An interesting analysis.

Taking Pleasure in the Misery of Others

Roy Schestowitz's picture

First paragraph states:

"Things have been going pretty well for open source and open standards recently. First, there was the implosion of the SCO case, in the wake of which even SCO accepts that it may not be around much longer. Then we had the rejection of Microsoft's request for a fast-track approval of its OOXML rival to ODF. Finally, the European Court of First Instance has refused Microsoft's request for an annulment of the terms imposed by the European Commission."

It's funny how the failure of others is described as "open source and open standards" success. Aside from the fact that you could add poor Vista adoption and rejection by the OSI to the list above, open source has made significant progress /itself/.

Consider, for example, AMD/ATI drivers going open source, H-P expanding distribution of their Linux offering, and countries where all schools will be moving to Linux. Then you also have ODF policies (Holland and Russia being the most recent additions). I am aware of more good news that will come next week.

Finding problems in other people's business make us seem petty, but I'll admit doing that too. There's a lot to celebrate in 'our side of the fence too'. Let's savour the moment.

AMD/ATI

msn ifadeleri's picture

It's funny how the failure of others is described as "open source and open standards" success. Aside from the fact that you could add poor Vista adoption and rejection by the OSI to the list above, open source has made significant progress /itself/.

Consider, for example, AMD/ATI drivers going open source, H-P expanding distribution of their Linux offering, and countries where all schools will be moving to Linux. Then you also have ODF policies (Holland and Russia being the most recent additions). I am aware of more good news that will come next week.
ı agree completeley i am giving the same examples :)

Not Schadenfreude

Glyn Moody's picture

This is not a question of taking a pleasure in the misery of others, it's a simple recognition of reality. If SCO had succeeded, how else could that be regarded as anything but a defeat for open source? If Microsoft had managed to get OOXML fast-tracked, or the European Commission's sanctions overturned, would not that have been a serious problem for openness everywhere?

My point is to celebrate the work of the hundreds, thousands of people who helped to achieve those results: they made this happen, as my link at the end of the post indicates. If that isn't a success, I don't know what is.

No, you were talking about

Tristan Grimaux's picture

No, you were talking about the success in the fight against enemies of Open Source, not misery of others. But you could mention all these victories too.

Historical perspective

Glyn Moody's picture

Well, I've written plenty on this blog and elsewhere about other such achievements. But I also think in terms of historical perspective, things like "AMD/ATI drivers going open source" and "H-P expanding distribution of their Linux offering" will not go down in the annals.

They are useful achievements, to be sure, but they don't affect the mainstream development of open source and standards in the way that the SCO, OOXML and EU decisions do and would have done had they gone the other way. These were pivotal moments, and we were lucky to get with 3 out of 3. That's why I singled them out, and to point out that elsewhere these crucial battles have yet to be won.

Just to Clarify :-)

Roy Schestowitz's picture

Glyn,

Sorry if my words were interpreted as a criticism (not intended by any means). If you ever follow things that I write, I'm pretty much the same, if not worse. I opine that _a lot_ of energy is put into eliminating Free software once and for all, so if we don't keep our eyes open, analyse, and rebut, that'll lead to bad consequences.

'Proprietary minds' become more aggressive (read: greedy) as time goes by and if we let them thrive, freedom will die along with the digitisation of culture.

Indeed

Glyn Moody's picture

I'm sure we're basically in agreement. And you're right that my examples were all defeats for proprietary approaches, rather than victories for openness. But my point is that given the situation in which we operate, we need to get those defeats before we can move on to constructing something better: without them, there isn't going to be a better.

"WE CAN move on to constructing something better"

Anonymous's picture

Glyn and Roy,

What are your wish lists?

It is time to re-think this game...

I'll be back.

Er, yes?

Glyn Moody's picture

How?

Something Better.

Anonymous's picture

How do we re-think this game? or

How "WE CAN move on to constructing something better" ?

1.The way Google uses Linux to create value without selling the OS keeps them out of range of patent threats. (Google Apps)

2. (your turn)...

I think we should start a list of ideas that confront the current obstructions and threats to computing FREEDOM.

Then use the list to develop our new game.

Any thoughts about the "intelle-ball"?

2

bobclarke's picture

2. yahoo uses send mail, mailman, python, php ...
but I guess Google is the more successful one here
3 (your turn)...

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