Rant: Is It Open ? I Don’t Know What Open Is Anymore

The article you are reading is open. It is not open source, it is not open licensed. It is not freely available in any other medium, it is copyrighted by me.

But it is “openly” available to anyone with a web browser that wants to read it. Is that open ?

If Cisco or VMware publishes an API to their proprietary platforms with compiled software and no access to the source. Is that open ?

Which part is open ? What part do you want to be open ?

If Broadcom doesn’t publish the API used by the device drivers for OpenLinux or Cumulus Linux, but makes it available to companies like BigSwitch or in its own network operating system BroadcomOS, Is that open ?

Do you care if internal code like this is open ? What advantages would there be if it was open ?

OpenDaylight and OpenStack are very open. Open source licenses tend to be open. But the documentation is the code and useful information can be hard to find. Is that open ?

I’m not sure what open is. I’m not sure that many people understand.

If you open a box, is it open ? If you close the box, is there still open-ness inside ?



  • spankym

    OpenSSL is/was considered quite open. A lot of good that did..

    • jascbu

      OpenSSL’s failure doesn’t question opensource, it questions OpenSSL’s build/test methodology. In fact if OpenSSL was closed source we might still be having our security compromised at this very minute, in blissful ignorance.

      • Luiz

        OpenSSL is so badly coded. I wonder what more else that I use that I don’t have access to the source and is so bad coded too.

  • http://jakesjunk.wordpress.com jakesjunk

    If you still don’t know if Mr S’s cat is alive or dead, then the box isn’t open :)

  • returnofthemus

    Affording unobstructed entrance and exit; not shut or closed, in IT a new fashionable prefix, which can also be appended to existing technologies E.g. OpenEIGRP.


  • https://twitter.com/kiliasov Kanat Iliasov

    guess you have to take it case by case. in the opinion of this individual as long as there’s no restriction to compatibility or functionality of the product – who gives a s**t if you can access the source code or not?
    now if we’re talking development aspect – that’s different beast: the old cathedral vs bazaar argument. open is good in that sense, but do we have a community out there that will actively participate?