How Open Formats Encouraged Open Source (O'ReillyNet)
Posted Feb 23, 2007 18:56 UTC (Fri) by khim
Parent article: How an Accident of Hardware Design Encouraged Open Source (O'ReillyNet)
Interesting article. But while it's true that "Storing Data in Binary Fosters Closed Proprietary Systems; ASCII Fosters Openness" you should never forget that it's just a rule. It all boils down to the people in the end: people who prefer openness usually tend to use ASCII (nowadays UTF-8), people who like to invent lock-in schemes prefer to use Binary, yet usage of ASCII (nowadays UTF-8) or Binary does not guarantee anything. You can have perfectly open and portable binary format (for example TeX's DeVice Independent format) and you can have unreadable text-based format (Open XML is the famous example).
Oh, and if you think cpio is dead - try to ask more knowledgeable about RPM format some day :)
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