25/09/2008

Standards

First and foremost, well done community for adopting OpenDocument as the standard for office applications!

If the world adopts standards we will have a standard way of doing things, a standard window manager that everyone uses (pity no one can agree on one), a standard image format and all. This makes things easier for the community to understand their system and for it all to be the same.

The problem with that is that there will be less competition of ways of doing things and therefore no innovation. For example if everyone adopted KDE as their standard window manager, the innovation would slow down because GNOME and KDE aren't competing against each other. We need innovation because the world is driving itself so fast, new ideas excite us.

The thing we know is that these standards (if they exist) must be open, for without open standards, only one group of applications would be able to adopt the standard. For file format standards one must be able to use whichever application he or she wishes to use to view or edit the file. For desktop standards I personally do not want to be locked into a certain way of doing things. That is why for me, for file formats there should be simple open standards and for desktop applications, there should be no standard, just few competing ones. The KDE/GNOME war will never end but at least we know that if we have a problem we can use the other one, edit them as we choose, and we're sure there will be lots of innovation in these fields.

Do the pros outweigh the cons? Let me know your opinion.

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