The Standards Wars and the Sausage Factory

I know, I know. Some of you are convinced that standards are determined by which technology is “best.” You are ready to trot out examples such as the famed battles including VHS vs. Beta video tape, or WiMax vs. Long Term Evolution (LTE) for 4G. You will bring up more current wars, such as Google’s SPDY vs. Microsoft’s HTTP Speed+Mobility (over how to speed up HTTP data transmission) and the hot-blooded fist fights over what will replace the X window server system for the Unix and Linux graphics stacks: Red Hat and friends’ Wayland or Canonical/Ubuntu’s Mir.

Sometimes the standard is driven by technical excellence. Usually, it’s not.

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