Recently, I have been thinking that We need to innovate standards but not standardize innovation
Over the last few weeks, I have been busy both with the Web and the Telecoms side – with publishing, conferences etc; and often you see the same issue of standardization reform across different domains.
In a nutshell, I am saying that it’s easy to standardise simple communications protocols(and that’s where standards efforts should be focussed) but it is very hard to standardise more complex elements globally within a decent timeframe.
Here are two examples: The question is – How long should we wait for a standard to emerge and what is the cost of doing so?
HTML5 is the next major revision of HTML and it covers important areas like offline browsing. Work on HTML5 started in 2003 and it was expected to be completed in 2012 (which is bad enough) but now it is expected to be completed in 2022(19 years!)
and also some strong language in this last link HERE.. but still worth a read including it’s 105 comments!
VOLGA(not the river!)
This second example comes from the domain of mobile telecoms. As the world of mobility comes to an all IP world through LTE , we realise that the handling of phone calls over IP (especially in the mobile domain) is non trivial. Normally, call handling is session based. With IP, that’s not easily achieved(or at least needs more management in the mobile domain). Martin Sauter explains this issue in detail in his blog
However, here, the standardization body (3gpp ) seems to be taking a short sighted view (in my opinion). A problem exists for voice in an all IP world. Everyone acknowledges that. The solution is cs-fallback (clunky) (i.e. going to circuit switched for voice and using a packet switched network for data) or fully IMS IMS (is distant). VOLGA is a more pragmatic solution – but 3gpp explicitly commented that don’t endorse VOLGA!
And what’s the standardised solution?
ALL Telecom Operators should go to IMS(i.e. support IP) AND that IMS must seamlessly interconnect AND furthur more, devices supporting IMS must exist. ONLY THEN can a solution be created for voice over IP. Note that voice on mobile devices is certainly a bearer aware application – so no matter how you look at it we need a proper network layer IP solution for voice
So, the options are between a pragmatic immediate solution(VOLGA) to a distant standardized solution
In a recession, we have to be pragmatic – waiting for a standard to emerge cannot be indefinate.
There are no easy answers to these questions, but certainly a discussion is necessary ..
Image source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_jKscR9AiAls/SGu0fdZMSkI/AAAAAAAAATE/cT1eopGa0MQ/s400/waiting.gif