The Web is Agreement

A poster put together on behalf of Osmosoft for the BT Open Source Awareness Event to promote discussion on Open Source and standards. It's now available as a clean, high-resolution PDF for print [also here]. [Reddit] [Digg] []

  • Gordon Joly 7y

    I am listening, honest!
  • ravenglassrentals 7y

    Horrible hangover from MMORPGs and insidious opensource geek culture imposed on what should be a free system, under the guise of fake "openness".

    Um, Tom Morris, no one needs you to "free" them from walled gardens. A genuinely free system will have a range of systems from walled to "open," -- it's not really "open" if you cannot also have closed sections, which are necessary to protect property value and economies, as in Second Life.

    Prokofy Neva

    WoW and other games will not be moving to opensource any time soon, as they rely on the walled nature of their code to maintain the integrity of the world and its internal economy. And that's ok.

    The nasty implications of saying "intellectual property" is an oxymoron lets us know of the extremist copyleftism at work here.

    Tag clouds? It's an infestation. Sprinkle some vinegar around, maybe the damn thing will go away by morning.
  • Paul Downey 7y

    Interesting comments Prokofy! I agree you need some constraints, even to be free, and I'm not cool enough to open up "everything", such as my bank account.

    Guess we'll have to wait and see which lives longest - more closed worlds such as Second Life or more open worlds, of which many examples fill The Web, but it seems entirely possible WOW and SL will both continue to open up, both their software and data, to continue to make money.

    You don't need to be a closed, walled garden, to make money on the Web, and my view is, as we go forward, closed and proprietary software systems will die off.
  • jjacek 7y

    Cute, geeky, and funny! The penwork could use some practice (keep it up!), but the concept is great. :-)
  • ravenglassrentals 7y

    psd, it's such a shill to imagine that you can make money from opensource.

    The only people who make money from opensource work it like this:

    "Your information wants to be free. Mine is available only for a consulting fee, however."

    Stop thinking about the fantasy and the "idea" of "making money from opensource" and cite me some real, concrete examples that don't depend on the obfuscation factor, i.e. that somebody codes an OS thing that in fact turns out to be so wonky and difficult that it constantly needs a consultant to run it. The OS then is merely a loss-leading to buy the consultant who relies on keeping it obfuscated -- which indeed it is even being "open" to other coders who at best, might only obfuscate it more. The average user will continue to find it impenetrable.
  • Paul Downey 7y

    I applaud your cynicism and agree in one part: complexity and obfuscation is just as much a lock-in as licensing and closed-source. But experience of using Open Source is when things go bad or wrong, they fork. That's harder when you are tied to the direction of a single supplier.

    I don't think you can make money *from* opensource, but to use Cluetrain speak, you can make money *because* of the freedoms and opportunities open source introduces into the ecosystem.

    Examples abound, Yahoo! Google and Amazon make significant sums because of the Web and Open Source, and the open contributions they make.

    For me spending money on contributing to an open source OS, Database, or CRM system is a far better use of a commercial and tax payers money than buying, and locking your company into proprietary closed source software and tying yourself to their road-map.

    Much of the poster is about the uniformity and open, free to use, often informal standardisation that forms the basis of the Web and it's innovations, and the way that is constantly evolving through continuous lightweight widespread conversation and feedback only possible in an open environment. Without open source, royalty free ideas and "view source" we wouldn't have a web, just a series of vendor specific, glossy but non-interoperable, bulletin boards.
  • Justin Mason 7y

    yep; as psd says, the open source work creates an ecosystem in which there are money-making opportunities. That's what happened with one of my open source projects; we made a commercial version with proprietary value-add, which was commercially viable. Works for me!
  • Paul Downey 7y

    "WoW and other games will not be moving to opensource any time soon"

    I'm not sure about WoW, but Second Life are amazingly Open and are moving to an Open Source model - see the OpenSimulator project and Second Life Wikipedia pages.
  • Paul Downey 7y

    As of today, this crossed the 76,000 flickr views mark and is has been favorited 229 times. Wow! Thanks all!
  • Paul Downey 7y

    A follow-up poster, "The URI Is The Thing":

    The URI Is The Thing
  • Randy Thornton 6y

    Nicely done. JRRT liked invented languages, I'm sure he'd get the joke.

    We printed it out on big paper and it sits on the staff round table. The staff are working on coloring it with a box of crayons ...
  • Paul Downey 6y

    Whoa, coloured in sounds cool! Be great if you shared a photo of that!
  • Randy Thornton 6y


    We have finally finished coloring the poster with crayons and everyone had a great deal of fun doing it -- and it lead to a lot of questions about the details of all those acronyms -- almost made me feel good to be an old veteran.

    Here is a link to our page about it and in there is a link to some close up details we put on our image collections site, which has a viewer that let's you zoom in on the details.

    Thanks so much - it was a great learning experience for our staff and students.

  • Paul Downey 6y


    Wow! Thanks for posting the photos, and the results are great! Looks like you all had a great time! I particularly like the scrolls on the banner at the bottom!

  • Paul Downey 6y

    I've blogged about Randy's colouring and the poster appearing in this month's Libros De Mexico:

  • Iban Nieto 6y

    AWESOME work!!
  • Bogota Colombia 6y

    congrats dud !!

  • Vicky Saumell 5y

    Amazing poster! Lots of food for thought!
  • Jessica "The Hun" Reeder 5y

    Thanks for this. I love the poster and ended up using it in a blog post, here:
  • Mai Lykke 2y

    That looks awesome!
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