Sunday, November 04, 2007

MEANS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE END

(Summary: This paper provides legal implications of formats and explains why it is better to adopt format based on open standards. Guidelines for implementing open formats are also provided.)

Mahatma Gandhi - from Wikipedia

The beginning of the last century witnessed the emergence of a semi-clad Indian, referred to as 'half naked Fakir' by Winston Churchill. His philosophy was, 'means are more important than the end: it is only with the right means that the desired end will follow' (see Endnote-1). To the charge that 'means are after all means', he would say, ‘means are, after all, everything’. His name, Mohandas Karamchandra Gandhi – known to the World as Mahatma Gandhi, father of the Indian nation.

Gandhi's philosophy is still relevant, in all walks of life. In the context of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the end is - dissemination and communication of information: the means are - how to achieve it; how to implement it; what kinds standards to employ; what kinds of formats to adopt; what kind of software to use?

The Monkey Trial

It was illegal to teach theory of evolution in most of states in US.  John T Scopes, a biology teacher, was prosecuted to teach it. He was ...