Sam Ruby has a knack of making simple statements that convey so much. Here’s an example:

“Standards that Matter are Standards that Ship”

So true. Sam talks about the <video> element in the HTML5 spec and how certain vendors appear to be addressing this spec requirement. This statement caught my attention:

“Fundamentally, Microsoft’s strategy is sound. Ignore standards that you find inconvenient, and focus on producing and enabling the production of content people want.”

This is where OSS can play a role. The appropriate OSS community can implement standards (and specifications) that other vendors find inconvenient. This isn’t new news to any of you I’m sure. But are there differences when we consider an OSS vendor vs. and OSS community?

An OSS vendor can choose to implement the “inconvenient standard/spec” and use it as a competitive differentiator versus the incumbent vendor. But are there “inconvenient standards/specs” for OSS vendors themselves? If there are, or will be in the future, do we expect OSS vendors to act differently than Microsoft is?