My Open Is Not Your Open, Their Open, Or That Other Open

Words have meaning and words have power. It’s why we use them and why we choose them. In the world of technology, the words “open” and “standard” have special meaning because they describe something with the qualities of being accessible to all, commonly available, and broadly accepted.

Contrast the words “open” and “standard” which implies hippie free-love, hugs and kisses all around with the words “closed” and “proprietary” which imply mine and my way with no love, hugs, or kisses for you!

You won’t catch a product vendor today saying their product is closed and proprietary. No sir/ma’am. Proprietary is bad. They might say it’s “standards enhanced”, “pre-standard”, “vertically integrated”, or some other bull shit euphemism but never proprietary. That’s too bad because proprietary isn’t necessarily bad just like open isn’t necessarily good.

However, when I hear the words open and standard used to describe product qualities, I immediately dig into what is being said because more often than not, what is being said does not reflect reality.

So when I start poking at someone or some company’s use of the words “open” and “standard”, it’s a direct reaction to their misuse of those very same words.