Open Standards

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Let me start by saying that in my own life I’m a total Mac fanatic. I use Macs. I use their various gadgets. What’s more, TPM is actively developing not only optimized versions of the site for a series of mobile devices, we’re also getting to work on apps for iPhone and iPad. I’d said earlier that I didn’t think the people designing news app had a good sense of how to use mobile devices for news yet. But my opinion has changed about that over the last few weeks. (There are a series of new apps out there that I think point to the direction of future development of distributing news on mobile devices.)

In any case, there’s a different point I wanted to make. Because we get a lot of questions and requests about mobile devices. The companies that control the major mobile devices have a big interest in making people think that there’s a level of functionality that is possible using proprietary applications — an iPad app, an Android app, etc. that’s not available using open standards or ‘the web’. But that’s just not true. It might be true for the moment. And it might become a self-fulfilling prophecy if the big device manufacturers deepen their hold. But fundamentally it just ain’t true.But the truth is that there’s no reason at all that open standards like — html and css being the big examples which powers most of the web — can’t provide more functionality, cooler stuff, etc. Indeed, there’s every reason to think that they can actually provide more. Indeed, the whole idea that you design a new version of an information product for different devices is a really old-fashioned concept in a lot of ways. That was the way the major stake holders originally wanted to run the internet — with Compuserve and AOL or with all the innovation and coolness that you now experience with that clunky 1970s era technology box that sits on top of your TV and brings you cable.

This isn’t news to anyone in the tech space. But I wanted to make the point for folks who are more focused on news and how they consume it. Now I’ll go back to reading my iPad.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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