A brief essay on the type of "openness" in a software product.
After writing that last post damning Apple's lack of transparency, I thought it might be a good idea to actually come of with a list of questions with which we might identify an open software company. I don't think it's necessary that a company meet all of these criteria, but the more the better.
1. Open Sourcecode: Do you have access to the sourcecode? True open source is great, but simple access to the source code, even if it's not under an open source license, is often enough.
2. Open Data: Can you easily get your data into or out of the application, should the need arise?
3. Open APIs: Can your other software interact with the application? The best applications provide different means of access: GUI, command-line, RSS, SOAP or REST, for example...
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Jacksonville, North Carolina 28546