Thoughts on New Standards

(Seen in Slashdot)

A discussion over on IBM Developer Works on the adoption of new standards before they are established standards. Some useful discussion of the pitfalls as well as the advantages of such practices, that we might take into account with some of the Open Source standards many of us are working on. (Of course communication with other standards and reversibility/backward compatibility are the main defences against losing time/data.)

In any case, the article begins:

Before a standard becomes widely adopted, some ambiguity always exists about whether it will succeed. Even a standard formally endorsed by a major organization might turn out to be simply ignored by the marketplace.

Adopting a standard before it has become fully established has advantages and disadvantages. In some cases, early adopters can have substantial influence over the development of a standard. Being first to market can also provide economic advantages.

If you’re going to adopt a standard before it becomes fully established, you should consider a few key factors first. This article looks at early adoption — who does it, why, and what can go wrong with it.


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