Fellow IBMer Tom Glover talks about what “open” means over in his developerWorks blog. He points over here to me, so here’s linking right back at you, Tom.
He makes very valid points about the misuse of the term and I have been railing against the way people try to subvert “open” to mean something in the middle between “closed” or “proprietary” and what I am forced to call for the sake of this discussion “truly open”. We need to reserve “open” to mean completely and truly open and then use adjectives to back off from that, if we must. Otherwise, if “open” is something in the middle, what do we do, talk about “really open”? “really really open”? “super duper extra open gold”?
I’m being a bit silly in these terms, of course, but Microsoft’s use of the term “open” for their XML formats du jour just reminds us that if we don’t get more serious about “open” meaning, well, OPEN, then it will be a meaningless term. But then again, maybe that’s exactly what some people want. I, for one, don’t think we should let that happen. What about you?