Open and Closed

It started with a tweet. Not mine. The tweeter was haranguing Apple (over multiple tweets) for being a closed platform. The thrust of their argument was ‘open is better than closed’ and Apple, representing the ‘closed’ was holding people back. Restricting them.

It’s an argument raised by many. How Apple’s restrictions are denying individual’s the opportunity to express themselves freely. For some it’s like Apple are restricting human rights by filtering which apps run on iOS.

I can respect people who argue for fully open systems. This person was making their argument on Twitter. A closed system. Using a closed network to argue for Apple to be open doesn’t quite sit right for me.

Let’s take a theoretical day. On this day I listened to non-DRM mp3 songs whilst reading a non-drm ebook. Later I watched a non-drm MP4 movie file and then used an RSS reader to catch up on some online articles. I also meant to post on Tent but I keep forgetting to give that network enough attention.

On this made-up, action-packed day, what was more important? Whether the OS I used was open, or that the media I accessed was available in open formats? Yes I’d prefer it if iOS didn’t have any restrictions on which apps are available through the App Store. However it’s more important to me that open format media files and documents are supported, along with web standards.

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