I am all for open standards, but they face huge problems. Not least is lack of intergration between them. Take SIP used by VOIP providers, such as OpenWengo. While OpenWengo is open source, and it is SIP, they are not helpful in informing you how to use other clients, or dial other OpenWengo users from other networks.
What I am really talking about is the need for an all-in-one communications program, that is multi-platform. Their is already open source code for: Google Talk (aka Jabber), MSN, AOL, ICQ, SIP, H.323, Yahoo! but why isn’t their an all-in-one client? Surely it would be easy to reimplement some code from other programs into Ekiga (SIP, H.323) , Kopete or Gaim (both Jabber, MSN, Yahoo, AOL and ICQ)? I know GoogleTalk is based on SIP, so why not SIP compatability? That is poor implementation which is fragmenting the Open Source community, how are we going to challenge MSN’s userbase with this sort of fragmentation? That said I like Google Talk and its way of doing things. Also it is rumoured GoogleTalk will be interoperable with AOL at protocol level, since Google owns 5% of AOL.
This is also a factor across open standards, such as Ogg Vorbis, the open alternative to MP3. Rather than people developing a kernel to run Matrix backgrounds on an iPod, why not develop an Ogg Vorbis decoder? That way nearly 80% of the digital music player market could possibly play Ogg Vorbis, rather than the current selection of a few iRivers, less than 1%. If Open Source is serious about the desktop and its formats, we have to work together and stop forking our efforts! Good news is it is getting there all the time, albeit too slow for most of us!