Monday, July 10, 2006

Standards Smanderds

Saw this via darth.

Great question/answer by Sun's Rich Green:

You see a lot of activity among developers happening in open-source projects and outside the standards processes, where most of Java development has historically happened. Is this a good thing? Is this a bad thing for Sun and Java?

Green: Oh, I think it's a great thing. You have to make sure that you don't get too hung up on history being the only way to do things. Standards were a great way of operating in the industry in a pre-open-source-world lifestyle, because they were the only way to gain sort of visibility and normalization or compatibility in products that were available in binary form. Now that things are available in source code form, (there are) different models of innovation and creativity and different notions of what is standard. So we're not trying to control it. We're not trying to say, "If it's not Java, it's not good." You'll see us reaching out to these projects and programs and supporting those things in ways greater than we've done before.

So, I'm just asking ... but in the age of Open Source then why do we need all of these? Why is so much premature standardization happening?

I'm all for standards, but how about we prove things out with Open Source first and then standardize once we have had a chance to beat things up really well?


Sarge said...

Why is there so much premature standardization? Because lots of companies (N.B. Evil Empire) see a standard as a way to dominate the market. Whether or not that is actually the case, they believe it. They think that controlling the standard gives them control over the market. Hence their push to standardize everything.

Kris_Tuttle said...

It's more than the market players. Many corporate customers yearn for standardization because it makes their life simpler and feels lower risk to their way of thinking. It keeps them behind the innovation curve but for many it's a price worth paying. I don't agree with it and would never do it but it's a potent aspect of technology adoption in the commercial space.