Archive for December, 2009

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Links 12/30/2009

December 30, 2009
  • “As Google (and some others) interpret it, this additional requirement constitutes a vague use restriction and thus makes the license non-free. Chris [DiBona] explained that if I were to remove that line from the license and ‘return to a proper open source license that we support,’ then jsmin-php could stay on Google Code. Otherwise, he said, ‘we can’t host you,'” Grove said on his blog. “Of course, I can’t change the license, because it’s not my license. It’s Douglas’s license…All derivative works and copies of jsmin.c either include this license or are in violation of it.”

    tags: standards

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Links 12/23/2009

December 23, 2009
  • In the 19th and 20th centuries we made stuff: corn and steel and trucks. Now, we make protocols: sets of instructions. A software program is a protocol for organizing information. A new drug is a protocol for organizing chemicals. Wal-Mart produces protocols for moving and marketing consumer goods. Even when you are buying a car, you are mostly paying for the knowledge embedded in its design, not the metal and glass.

    tags: standards, economics, ip

  • I’ve said all along, as I said with Netscape in 1994 — Twitter desperately needs competition to toughen them up and make them more responsive to market opportunities. To give them a sense of urgency they lack. But what they and we don’t need is Google and other big companies to stall the market in the name of being open. Their process is open only if you’re a BigCo, and shuts out exactly the people we want in there. The gutsy bright-eyed young entrepreneurial minds at rising stars like WordPress and Tumblr. They are ready for a standard now, not someday in the future, after a huge working group is finished with it. Not two years after that when everyone has forgotten the Open Microblogging Intitiative or whatever it ends up being called. They’re ready now, and so is the market.  

    tags: standards

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Links 12/22/2009

December 22, 2009
  • Networks have always depended on standards to flourish. When railroad tracks were first being laid across the U.S. in the early 19th century, there were seven different standards for track width. The network didn’t flourish and expand west until the different railway companies agreed upon a standard width of 4′ 8.5″. (In this case the standards war was an actual war: Southern railroads were forced to convert over 11,000 miles of track to the new standard after the Confederacy lost to the Union in the Civil War.)

    So there was some precedent in 1974 when Vint Cerf and his colleagues proposed using an open standard (which became TCP/IP) to connect the several computer networks that had emerged around the U.S. They didn’t know exactly how many networks were out there so the “Internet” — a term Vint coined — had to be open. Any network could connect using TCP/IP, and now, as a result of that decision, there are about 681 million hosts on the Internet.

    Today, we base our developer products on open standards because interoperability is a critical element of user choice. What does this mean for Google Product Managers and Engineers? Simple: whenever possible, use existing open standards. If you are venturing into an area where open standards don’t exist, create them. If existing standards aren’t as good as they should be, work to improve them and make those improvements as simple and well documented as you can. Our top priorities should always be users and the industry at large and not just the good of Google, and you should work with standards committees to make our changes part of the accepted specification.

    tags: standards

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Links 12/20/2009

December 20, 2009
  • The Open Standards Alliance proposed and lobbied for the change to Act LX of 2009 on electronic public services within Hungarian law. The goal? To “promote the spread of monopoly-free markets that foster the development of interchangeable and interoperable products,” thereby opening up the market to “broad competition.”

    tags: standards

  • In response to today’s Tumblr announcement, RSS pioneer and blogger Dave Winer writes, “Conventional wisdom says that open standards are created by endless deliberations among experts and big tech companies, and those sometimes gain traction, but this is how it usually happens. Someone goes first. No one thinks of it as an open standard. Then someone clones it. All of a sudden people get ideas. Inspired, someone goes third. At this point it’s inevitable that there will be a fourth and fifth and so on.”

    tags: standards

  • Marco at Tumblr says that he was inspired by the “seriously clever” use of the Twitter API by WordPress. Of course I was too. When they came out with it I wondered out loud if the Twitter API is now an open standard.  

    Well, less than a week later, Tumblr now has implemented the Twitter API, and as a result you can use any Twitter-compatible tool to post to and read from Tumblr. 

    tags: standards

  • Which brings me to my final point.  APIs aren’t file formats.  In a file format the whole point of it is to store and retrieve data so it makes sense to adhere to standards because not doing so would prevent the data from fulfilling it’s purpose (to be read).  But APIs aren’t like that.  Having a different API isn’t going to break anything.  So while developers should always look at the APIs of other companies for inspiration they shouldn’t treat successful APIs like Gospel

    tags: standards

  • Twitter’s API has spawned over 50,000 applications that connect to it, taking the promise of fertile APIs we first saw with Flickr half a decade ago and bringing it to new heights. Now, the first meaningful efforts to support Twitter’s API on other services mark the maturation of the API as a de facto industry standard and herald the end of its period of rapid fundamental iteration.

    tags: standards

  • I used to think that too, but after spending so many years involved with RSS, I have a better understanding of the costs that developers incur because of half-assed specs. During the 18 months in which the RSS Advisory Board drafted the RSS Best Practices Profile, we accumulated more information on how RSS has been implemented than anybody else on the planet. It’s never a good thing for a specification to be “potentially ambiguous.” If two developers disagree on what a spec means, their software will not interoperate. And once their software ships, they’ll be mad as hell if the specification is revised to make their interpretation the incorrect one.

    tags: standards

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Links 12/19/2009

December 19, 2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Links 12/18/2009

December 18, 2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Links 12/15/2009

December 15, 2009
  • We made our Twitter-compatible service to subscribe to blogs, whole blogs, and nothing but blogs. You can also publish updates to a blog by typing in your Twitter client. With these exciting features and themes like P2, WordPress.com is a great place for microblogging.

    tags: standards

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.