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User Rank: Light Sabre
10/30/2013 | 11:25:10 AM
Three Levels of "Specification"
There are really three levels of specification today that relate to interfaces and functionality.  Thre are formal standards that describe them, there are open interfaces whose specifications are public but not formalized, and there's open-source software whose interfaces are somewhat malleable.  

Operators have embraced open source in some areas like Linux, but the open source process doesn't always create the kind of stable release program and application lifecycle management processes that operators like.  You can't replace standards or open interfaces with open-source software; multiple open-source projects aimed at the same general application are often not compatible with each other.

Standards are IMHO proving problematic for operators because they take too long to develop, and so may end up being available only after they've ceased to be relevant.  They may also be incresingly unnecessary because the most useful standards guide interoperability, and interoperability is a function of interfaces.

Open interfaces are what I think the market needs.  Sites like Kayak prove that you can write software to use almost anyone's APIs as long as they're open, and that it doesn't take very long to make the adaptation.  In an age of software-driven networking where APIs replace physical interfaces, all you need is to require that all the APIs/interfaces be open.
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/30/2013 | 9:43:11 AM
Re: Open source
Open Source and API's gives you an idea of the actual uses and needs versus simply providing a spec that may never be used or needed. Once you actually get that data converting it to a standard canbe extremely helpful, as long as its a living standard that repeats the process of flexible imorvement and inclusion.
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
10/30/2013 | 9:28:16 AM
Open source
Interesting to see this talk about moving away from standards (at a standards-body hosted conference). I think it's just a product of how slowly they move. The open-source community is agile and brings in new ideas. But, for the operators, especially, they'll have to walk the walk and really embrace open source, which is a stretch for them.

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