Pick your Kool-Aid flavor VERY carefully

Caution!

You can pick your metaphor — drinking Kool-Aid, breathing fumes, swallowing the blue pill — but the result of any purportedly "open" collaboration between Microsoft and anyone else is a descent into the Matrix. And you'll never realize you are just the power source…uh, make that revenue source…for the continued monopoly of Microsoft and its "partners."

What's got me so bent outta shape? 3DXML. While we aren't the first to complain about it not being open, Dassault's recent Paris press event resulted in a new rash of public pumping up of the "grand vision" for 3DXML.

Why is it that one of these magic shows always accompanies the promotion of these pseudo-open standards? Simple: it's about focusing you on something else while you are slipped a closed, lock-in technology. While you are wowed at the prospect of consumers immersing themselves in your 3D model, the looming addiction to expensive, proprietary software becomes obscure and more palatable.

Because we've seen this so many times before, this whole 3DXML thing has gotten under our skin a little (and should make yours crawl).

The only real standards are the technologies that are either so embedded into the computing fabric they cannot be owned (for example, Ethernet technology) or are available under a Creative Commons or, better, GNU license. Anything else that calls itself a standard just plain isn't. If anyone really thinks 3DXML is really, truly open, we'd sure appreciate you educating us.

We'll be returning to this topic, and often. But for the moment, please…think it through. If you are interested in making 3D design data widely available inside your company's core business processes, is there any reason to do it this way?

We certainly don't think so.

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