Babbling about open standards
It feels to me like the weblog developer (and user) community could learn a lot from the Open Source community's struggles with closed vs. open standards. This afternoon, Peter Saint-Andre gave a talk about the state of IM, the various protocols (AIM, MSN, Yahoo) with varying degrees of openness, and the emerging standard XMPP (open) protocol that he's involved with. Just because there's a standard in place doesn't mean it's necessarily developer-friendly, especially if controlled by a large commercial interest. I could imagine a talk four years from now that is essentially the same, but replacing "jabber-based protocol" with "n(echo)". In addition to an open standard, and supporting open source code, he listed an open community (with a standard process for extending/improving) involved with guiding the standard as an important requirement. It'll be interesting to see if weblog software follows the same path as IM software because there are already quite a few parallels. Will n(echo) eventually move to the IETF, IBM, Google, Six Apart, or will there always be a loose consensus guiding it? I'm not involved with that project, and maybe these sorts of questions are already answered. It just seems like there are several similarities between weblogs and IM, with a chance to learn from the recent past.