OpenSocial, OpenBox, OpenMedia What the Hells Going On?
A few days back google announced OpenSocial, its so called open API for social networks. Box.Net today annouced the launch of OpenBox, a platform for developers to integrate their web applications into Box.net. And Bebo announced Open Media platform, a way for media brands to build a presence in the community with music and video content.
Readwriteweb author Marshall Kirkpatrick rightly questions is Google Exercising Leadership or Control? I happen to think this is all about gaining control. Google, knew very well that they were incapable of creating a social-network that would become as big as MySpace or Facebook which is evident from the failure of Orkut which has mostly been dominated by Brazilians and Indians(take a look at the public stats page you need to be signed into Orkut to view it). The growth of facebook over the past months has show how opening up a platform to developers, can have a exponential/big impact on on how users use their services.
And suddenly we have API coming up every where. The fact is most of these API aren’t really open and are mostly tied up to their own platform or are severely restricted in terms of usage.
How about the recent announcement about Android
Today Google released the Android code and I took a serious look at its internals… and found the solution for the licensing problem. Itâ€™s called Dalvik and itâ€™s the new name of Sunâ€™s worst nightmares.
Dalvik is a virtual machine, just like Javaâ€™s or .NETâ€™s.. but itâ€™s Googleâ€™s own and theyâ€™re making it open source without having to ask permission to anyone (well, for now, in the future expect a shit-load of IP-related lawsuits on this, especially since Sun and Microsoft signed a cross-IP licensing agreement on exactly such virtual machines technologies years ago… but donâ€™t forget IBM who has been writing emulation code for mainframes since the beginning of time).
OpenSource Fighting against OpenSource? I guess the GPL wasn’t open enough. Proof that GPL is not a solution for all opensource projects especially for commercial solutions. Google was smart enough to realise not many would invest or touch Android if it was released under a GPL licence. Heck they even have a FAQ about this. Why are you releasing the code under the Apache Software License instead of GPLv2?