When Open Isn't Open

I spend time each day monitoring how technology is impacting various industries. APIs are playing a major role in evolving how business is done in just about any sector. In my search for new APIs and technologies for the print and publishing industry I came across a new community called Open Xerox.

Open Xerox is a web portal that hosts technology prototypes from the Xerox R&D labs, making them accessible to external user community for review and comment before the launch of a product offering.

The site speaks in all the tags I'm interested in: converter, document, analysis, ebook, epub, ereader, language, pdf, simple text.

They have some very interesting web services and applications available like PDF to EPub Converter, Langugage Identifier, and TagSearch.

Everything looks great. Except the open. I don't see any open-source technologies and when I try to sign up to submit my open-source tools I got this:

We are sorry but developer roles are for the moment reserved to Xerox users. We will inform you whenever we open this to any user. I see a lot of of open washing where people use the term open to describe what they are doing, when in reality there isn't much open.

Open should be reserved for two things in my opinion:
  • Open-Source technology that anyone can enhance
  • Open communities that allow anyone to participate
I think it is important that we all work to maintain the integrity of the term, so that the general public respects it for what it is. So c'mon Xerox, open up.