Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Linux Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff, Tim Hinds, Sean Dwyer

Related Topics: Linux

Linux: Article

Open Standards vs Open Source

Open Standards vs Open Source

The benefits and market opportunities provided by open standards far outweigh those derived from open source. While the software development market has certainly benefited remarkably from open source, open standards and protocols such as TCP, HTTP, and XML have made it possible for developers and software vendors to participate in the most rapid technological progression of humanity in the history of the world.

Without question open source has been a boon to software developers. While you may not find many lines of Linux code in the proprietary applications software sold for systems running Linux and other operating systems, you will undoubtedly find developers and software products that have benefited either directly or indirectly from the buoyant properties of the open source community and its shared intellectual library of solutions to common software development challenges.

An understanding of the underpinnings of the operating system and its source code levels the playing field for the applications market. This may even lead vendors of proprietary operating systems, who also compete in the applications market, to think twice before taking unfair advantage of insider knowledge.

Despite the sizable contribution of open source to the world of technology, the assumption that open source and Linux are responsible for an economic bonanza for those companies that have embraced them is questionable. One must ponder the possibility that HP would have sold $2.5 billion in hardware, proprietary software, and services referred to as "Linux-based" with an alternative operating system if Linux and the open source concept did not exist because HP's customers would have required those goods and services regardless of the existence of open source and Linux.

Would IBM give up its quest to dominate the hardware and services market if open source and Linux had never come along? Would Oracle throw in the towel and stop selling its database for proprietary operating systems? Would Amazon.com close its virtual doors? Would governments cease critical services if they could not install an operating system without paying a license fee for it?

The real question is where would we be without open standards? Without HTTP there would be no Amazon.com. Without TCP/IP there would be no Internet. Without SMTP there would be no spam. Well, okay, maybe that would not be such a bad thing. Without Ethernet there would be no LAN for 20 bucks a node. Without XML there would be no easy way for disparate systems to work together. Without SOAP there would be no Web services. Without SSL there would be no e-commerce. Without development language standards such as ANSI, C++, and SQL 93, people like me would be lost in a sea of proprietary languages and unique development tools. Indeed, without all of these open standards and more, open source would be without purpose or direction, without a skeleton on which to build the muscle and sinew that brings technology to life.

Standards bodies such as ANSI, ISO, ECMA, W3C, and IEEE are the guardians and keepers of the technological compacts that have made it possible for us to leap from the punch cards of 40 years ago to where we are today. Let us salute them and their many members who work tirelessly to the benefit of us all. Because of their work, I can plug my computer into an Ethernet jack anywhere in the world and be on the network. I can buy books from Amazon. com securely with the browser software of my choice. And I can jump on the Internet with a wireless card in any one of thousands of locations across the globe to check my e-mail, chat with friends, post a letter to the editor, or just catch up on the news in my small rural hometown.

More Stories By Tyler Jensen

Engrossed in enterprise application architecture and development for over ten years, Tyler Jensen is a senior technical consultant in a large health intelligence company, designing and developing claims processing and analysis software. In his spare time he does a little writing and outside consulting.

Comments (4) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Ritchie 05/07/04 01:24:43 PM EDT

We need both open standards and open source that support the standards. This is not an either/or situation and discussions that say one is more important than the other are silly, IMHO. Standards drive interoperability, open source drives ubiquity and lowers the threshold for those who want to get in the game. Therefore if standards are good and useful (and not all of them are), open source can help ensure that there will be widely available, good quality implementations. Adoption of the standards will then take place faster.

Paulo 04/21/04 12:09:17 PM EDT

We cannot forget why SOAP/CORBA didn't have a great spread the first time it appeared, some coMpanie$ have made a broad campaign on unbelieving about such technologies. In a while they were fully used by free sw developers.

And what about the proprietary software hidden interfaces? Yeah, they keep secrets for they own. Look at the .net specification (which as published, is supposed to be public, so that anyone could port to other environments, etc), the try implementation "Mono" is still skidding because of lack of information, they cannot implement what is not said to be implemented.

So that's right that Open Standards help a lot (if really open), but Open Source may increase much more the progress of technology, since there are intellectual capital being carried with it, which may be rose by a community and companies interested on it.

And what about

Scott McNeil 04/21/04 11:10:50 AM EDT

The Linux Standards Base, or LSB, combines Open Source and Open Standards. In so doing the LSB has succeeded to:

1. Make application developer's lives easier
Application developers can spend more time building enhancements rather than verifying that their code works not only on the many Linux distributions but the different versions of a single distribution (i.e. Red Hat 7.3 vs. 8.0, etc.)

2. Make operating system vendors lives easier
By adhering to the standard, operating system vendors can reach a wider market, assuring that portability of applications is not an issue with their products.

3. Make end users lives easier
Customers are starting to demand LSB Certified solutions due to their promise of easier system administration, applications that run "out of the box" and lack of vendor lock-in.

4. Grow the Linux market
The LSB is setting the stage for the next wave of Linux market growth: commercial applications.

As of 2003 every major Linux distribution vendor in the world has voluntarily applied for and achieved LSB Certification. Additionally, the Free Standards Group, the organization responsible for the LSB, has been recognized by ISO and will be submitting the LSB for ISO transposition later this year.

The LSB is but one more example that the powerful combination of Open Source and Open Standards helps everyone.

David 04/20/04 08:09:20 PM EDT

All true, but OSS is one of the top implementors of open standards. Heck, Jakarta is the reference implementation for the Java servlet/JSP standards.

May standards were also created by these committees that haven't gone anywhere. PKI has myriad standards that are so complex and have interoperability issues that it's laughable.

Sure, HTML is great, but the OSI create SGML before it, and that failed big time because it was too complex.

TCP/IP is great, but the OSI came out with their own 7 layer communications stack and it never did take off. TCP/IP wasn't just a standard, but it was written into Unix and the code for it was publicly available.

LDAP has worked pretty well, though it's not truly the same as the proprietary vendors implementations, such as Microsoft's Active Directory. And again, the OSI created X.500 for this, and it went nowhere fast.

The XML standards are suffering and benefiting in a similar way. XML itself is quite easy and clean and is being used a lot. But the many other standards that surround it haven't been adopted anywhere near as quickly, and SOAP needs to be renamed because it's far from SIMPLE anymore.

And we don't need to mention that the standards bodies came out with ASN.1 for encoding and CORBA for interoperable object messaging, yet it was the early SOAP over XML, loosely based on the far simpler and more elegant XML RPC base.

OSS is great because it implements these standards in a way that people can actually check and verify. Most proprietary implementations of "open standards" often fail because they just can't help themselves making their products "better" than the standards by filling in the "missing pieces." What a joke.

Anyway, they play best together. What we're suffering with now is standards being created before they are developed and proven by working systems, and that's why many new XML standards getting more complex and less adoptable.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things (IoT) is causing data centers to become radically decentralized and atomized within a new paradigm known as “fog computing.” To support IoT applications, such as connected cars and smart grids, data centers' core functions will be decentralized out to the network's edges and endpoints (aka “fogs”). As this trend takes hold, Big Data analytics platforms will focus on high-volume log analysis (aka “logs”) and rely heavily on cognitive-computing algorithms (aka “cogs”) to make sense of it all.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gary Hall, Chief Technology Officer, Federal Defense at Cisco Systems, will break down the core capabilities of IoT in multiple settings and expand upon IoE for bo...
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applications - creating more engaging experiences for their customers and boosting collaboration and productiv...
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, a...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - is now accepting submissions to demo smart cars on the Expo Floor. Smart car sponsorship benefits include general brand exposure and increasing engagement with the developer ecosystem.
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, representing a model of how to analyze rea...
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Open Data Centers (ODC), a carrier-neutral colocation provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Open Data Centers is a carrier-neutral data center operator in New Jersey and New York City offering alternative connectivity options for carriers, service providers and enterprise customers.
When it comes to the Internet of Things, hooking up will get you only so far. If you want customers to commit, you need to go beyond simply connecting products. You need to use the devices themselves to transform how you engage with every customer and how you manage the entire product lifecycle. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, will show how “product relationship management” can help you leverage your connected devices and the data they generate about customer usage and product performance to deliver extremely compelling and reliabl...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from ...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. Learn about IoT, Big Data and deployments processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines.
The 16th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open until February 28, 2015. 16th International Cloud Expo, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!