[e2e] the evolution of deployability

grenville armitage garmitage at swin.edu.au
Wed Dec 18 05:00:45 PST 2002

Roop Mukherjee wrote:
> Indeed it seems that standards allow mass production of compatible things.
> But, the question under debate here is why does evolution of such things
> seem to slow down.

Only the naive think standards bodies exist for the betterment of
the technology. Standards bodies can, and are, used to slow down a
particular approach or solution, particularly when competing vendors
have investment and market share at stake. The IETF has certainly
morphed from an organization of researchers and engineers (with RFCs as
trailing indicators documenting their work) to a standards body (haggling
over preferred positions to see whose marketing and sales groups get
to hail their product as conforming to the most RFCs).

> In other words, my objection is toward standardization of design
> (how to build a fax machine) as opposed to interfaces (how to display
> faxed characters).

The non-trivial problem here is that one person's interface is a key
part of another person's design.

Grenville Armitage

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