Friday, December 07, 2007

If the web was a democracy standards would rule


If the web was a democracy (I don't want to say the world) we'd have standards for everything: openID, open social networks, open handset alliance, open source movement.

Standards always benefit users, I believe they do benefit all of us across the board as they allow technology to progress and become pervasive.

Take an example of a world without standards like the cell phone industry and you will only see stagnment and user restrictions and limitations. CDMA, GSM, TDMA restricting which phones you can use with which wireless companies or which country. Palm, Windows Mobile, OS X, limiting software mobile software development. Web browsers are not appropiate enough or strong enough in this platforms to fill in the standard gap for the industry.

On the other hand, there's tons of great examples as far as where standards can take us. What made the web what it is today? The web become a platform in itself and if you wonder what's the web after all? It's just a bunch of standards TCP/IP, HTTP, HTML, XML, etc.


What user on their right mind would deny the advantage of having unique identification (like OpenID)? In the wild world today the adoption of standards depends on some many factors. Mostly, what big players are doing according to their own interests. I know this might be controversial, there's many interpretations as far as what raises to the top, such as the hive mind. I don't want to get political with the W3C, but maybe some day we can have some type of organization that optimizes the way we think, create and why not? vote for our standards. Then, the industry would follow what is best for the users which again, in the end is the best for all of us.

2 comments:

Alejandro said...

Well, finally something I can disagree with you a little...

Most of the standards we use today started as de facto standards and then were approved by comitee ( a few exceptions, are later iterations and revisions over standards).

I actually like having the choice between windows mobile, palm , etc.

I cannot help but think that if voting decided technology standards , rather than price and convenience. The money spent on research will go to campaing publicity ( see politics :-) )

We will probably would be voting on the best replacement for TDMA, instead of standarizing con GSM and 3G

As the saying goes: the good thing about standadards it's that thre are so many of them....

(BTW Blogger now accepts OpenId for comments...very cool )

Cecilia Abadie said...

You are so right.

This is one of the most interesting political insights I had in a long time :)

My original intention was to stress the importance and benefits of having standards but I didn't think too much on the process of reaching them when I through the democracy idea ...

Thinking more on the subject I guess it's more clear than before to me the fact that to get from any A to B point in the process of reaching an standard, there is a natural selection process of some sort involved, regardless of it being political, social, economical or most likely a mix of all of them in any percentage.

Your example on the cell technology is one of the most annoying one of this time.

Yeahh for blogger on that one ;)