Standards and the Status Quo

Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Oct 8, 2012 2:29 PM EDT Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove
Mail this story
Print this story

The concept of a standard is something of a paradox: competitors agree that they will all do one thing the same way - something that's ordinarily anathema to government regulators. But that's OK, because by doing so the resulting standard unleashes their ability to innovate in orders of magnitude more ways.

In an otherwise useful essay on the convergence of open standards and open source software development efforts, Adobe's Dave McAllister makes a statement that's worth challenging, since it reiterates a common misconception. In the opening of his essay, Dave states:

"Standards are designed to stabilize a technology or interface, package or connection. Open source is driven by continual development. Standards tend to update and publish on a schedule measured in years, while open source updates and publishes in sometimes days. Standards drive the status quo. Open source  (often) drives innovation."

The first part of that statement is crucially accurate: the value of a standard derives entirely from the industry agreeing to freeze some element of technology or interface.  But the later statement that "Standards drive the status quo" at the expense of innovation is misleading at best.

Full Story

» Read more about: Story Type: News Story

« Return to the newswire homepage

This topic does not have any threads posted yet!

You cannot post until you login.