Monday, September 26, 2005


As some of you know, Marc Canter is our advisor and lead architect for GoingOn Networks. He wrote a piece that is important and related to our vision for the next wave of web services (Editor's note at AO is a bit too strong against Yahoo! 360 in my opinion since I honestly didn't think the meeting was that negative against the service).

Also a couple hattips to Marc since his blog pointed me to In Search of the Valley, a new digital documentary which interviewed Marc, and Six Apart's Project Comet.

Breaking the Web Wide Open!
Even the web giants like AOL, Google, MSN, and Yahoo need to observe these open standards, or they'll risk becoming the "walled gardens" of the new web.

For decades, "walled gardens" of proprietary standards and content have been the strategy of dominant players in mainframe computer software, wireless telecommunications services, and the World Wide Web—it was their successful lock-in strategy of keeping their customers theirs. But like it or not, those walls are tumbling down. Open web standards are being adopted so widely, with such value and impact, that the web giants—Amazon, AOL, eBay, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo—are facing the difficult decision of opening up to what they don't control.

The online world is evolving into a new open web (sometimes called the Web 2.0), which is all about being personalized and customized for each user. Not only open source software, but open standards are becoming an essential component.

Many of the web giants have been using open source software for years. Most of them use at least parts of the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/Python/PHP) stack, even if they aren't well-known for giving back to the open source community. For these incumbents that grew big on proprietary web services, the methods, practices, and applications of open source software development are difficult to fully adopt. And the next open source movements—which will be as much about open standards as about code—will be a lot harder for the incumbents to exploit. (full article)

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