List of Open _______

Because I think it might be alternately amusing and useful, I’ve decided to compile a list of Open things. Additions welcome in comments; or if you can point me to someone else who has already done this, I’d appreciate that too. I think the list is more interesting if it stays focused on organizations claiming to represent Open Something, rather than just individuals saying that X is open, but pointers in that direction welcome too (and maybe will also show up some interesting patterns). Bonus points if they have a standard for defining what “open” means in their context, or if they are just hilariously awful.

“Open”, by Monica’s Dad, used under CC-BY 2.0.

The list:

I know there are more, but this is all I can think of in a pinch this morning. Help?

17 thoughts on “List of Open _______”

    1. I can’t believe I forgot Open Compute and OpenFlow – both are clients, and it was Open Compute that first made me contemplate this list several months back! Oops. This is what I get for making lists before having coffee.

  1. IIRC, “The Open Group” and “Open Software Foundation” predates “Open Source”. It came from the idea that Unix was an Open System, which could bring interoperability and portability.

  2. OpenBSD

    Old defunct stuff (not open anymore):

    OpenLinux (SCO / Caldera) which was the most “closed” distro of Linux.

    OpenWindows – old desktop environment for Sun Unix.

    OpenLook – another user interface for Sun Unix?

    Open32 – Open32 Developer API Extensions for OS/2 Warp ( build apps that provide a common source code between OS/2 and Win32). Basically, I think this was the Win32s API on OS/2.

  3. Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) aka OpenDocument (OD)
    Office Open XML (aka OOXML or OpenXML)
    Open Data Protocol (OData)

  4. > standards that aren’t what I would call open;
    > i.e., that can require patent royalty payments

    I think there are two different axes for standards here, one about the process that it’s developed under and one about who can implement it. I’ve always used the terms “open” and “free” for those respectively, but that’s just me.

    For example MP4 is an open standard (it’s developed by a public-enough committee) but it’s not a free standard (you can’t implement it without royalties). On the other hand WebM is not an open standard (Google threw it over the wall) but it is free (probably no patents).

    Ideally standards would be both, but to me standards developed in an inclusive manner which may be affected by patents are better than ones you can’t participate in and affected by patents.

  5. James: The distinction you’re making is absolutely critical, and one I’d like to explore more. I’m afraid, though, that “open” and “free” have been conflated and confused to such an extent that using them that way just confuses things. (See, for example, the reference in another comment to the Open Software Foundation, which was formed in the mid-90s to promote what you would call… a free standard. :)

  6. I sat next to a lady yesterday whose title was Director of Open Innovation, and we had a lovely discussion about Open Innovation and how it relates (but doesn’t always correlate exactly) with the lessons I’ve learned from Open Source.

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