FOSS vs. Web Services Lightning Talk: Is FOSS Necessary?


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This was a lightning talk I gave at OSCON. Basically, trying to establish why the Open Cloud Initiative is necessary.

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FOSS vs. Web Services Lightning Talk: Is FOSS Necessary?

  1. Is FOSS Necessary?
  2. Hi. I'm John Mark. I have opinions.
  3. In a services world...
  4. The interface is everything
  5. Interfaces can hide / reveal
  6. Interfaces can allow / deny
  7. Interfaces can lock you in...
  8. ...or they can grant you freedom
  9. ...but they don't have to
  10. It's not in an interface's immediate interest to grant you more freedom
  11. ie. make it easier for you to leave.
  12. In fact, it's exactly the opposite
  13. So, about free software
  14. Does FOSS change this dynamic?
  15. If free software is behind the interface...
  16. You're still at the discretion of the interface
  17. The interface doesn't care what's running behind it
  18. ...or in front of it
  19. The interface doesn't care if your last name is Stallman...
  20. ...or Peters
  21. ...or DiBona
  22. Dude...
  23. The interface is a friggin' robot...
  24. With laser beams comin' out of its friggin' eyeballs...
  25. In this scenario, free software doesn't matter
  26. At least not in the way we currently think about it
  27. Hi. I have opinions.
  28. Like any robot, the interface is only as good as its creator
  29. Or crappy. Choose your comparison.
  30. What if service providers were compelled to be more free?
  31. “By what?” you may ask.
  32. By rules. Rules about data, service and API portability.
  33. OMG! Free markets! Are you some kind of commie? DFH! DFH!”
  34. Dude. Rules are everywhere.
  35. Rules make for stronger, viable, sustainable ecosystems.
  36. And rules are not necessarily anti-business.
  37. Japanese automakers voluntarily added new safety features in the 80's
  38. ...even though it added to the cost of production
  39. Did they go out of business? Lose market share?
  40. No. In fact, they kicked ass.
  41. In 1998, free software economy participants published rules of engagement, known as the Open Source Definition
  42. ...And it was a disaster. I mean, nobody uses Open Source. Clearly, rules are bad for business.
  43. Er... um... ok, that's not what happened.
  44. Hi. I have opinions.
  45. When some segment of industry or a particular company bitches about new rules and regulations...
  46. You need to check the source and their motivations
  47. Because they're often wrong.
  48. So when I say that we need rules to govern data, service and API portability...
  49. Pay close attention to those who don't agree.
  50. So no, FOSS, as we currently know it, is not enough.
  51. But something like FOSS....
  52. Something that recognizes the rights of all participants...
  53. Something that recognizes what is needed to establish a viable ecosystem...
  54. necessary
  55. Because if there's one thing we've learned...
  56.'s that good rules don't grow on trees.
  57. ...and neither do sustainable systems.
  58. They happen because a lot of good people work really hard to make them happen
  59. And that is why I support...
  60. The Open Cloud Principles and the Open Cloud Initiative
  61. Open Interfaces Open Formats Open Data Open Source
  62. Open Interfaces → Open protocols, open API
  63. Open Formats → ODF, Atom
  64. Open Data → CC licenses, open knowledge
  65. Open Source → Oh, come on