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Old 04-11-2012, 03:32 PM
Lorenzo Sutton
Default : skype?

Adding the [OT] label as this is rather far from 'debian'...

On 11/04/12 07:27, Doug wrote:

On 04/11/2012 12:15 AM, daniel jimenez wrote:
It is shameful that, so many years after the digital revolution,
proprietary formats such as those championed by microsoft are
*mandated* by the industry, educational institutions and (in mexico
at least) government departments. In fact, I recently had problems
with my yearly tax declaration due to it only supporting and running
on some version of Internet Explorer.

Hopefully, we can all make that change.

In the case of skype, I understand that their contributions to VoIP
have been pioneering and extremely successful as a tool for
individuals and the enterprise community alike. However, every
company that doesn't support standardization is extremely short
sighted and detrimental to the healthy growth of the field they

Anyway, sorry for the hijack..



Microsoft and Skype are sure to tell you that _their_ formats _are_
the standard. And to a great extent, they're correct! (Microsoft
would have a better case
if they didn't keep changing it, so much so that their own word
processor can't even read what an earlier version of the same program

I don't know who standardized on the placement of the clutch and
brake pedals, but whoever it was, the rest of the industry was forced
to follow. Can
you imagine what a mess we would be in if they didn't? Similarly for
the basic gear-shift pattern. Only reverse moves, and, afaik, only to
one of two places.

I think the simile doesn't stand much... Although I'm no car expert, I
would compare the position of the pedals to interface elements you use
for the voip/IM client (e.g. a big green button with a lifting phone on
the left to indicate "start a call") which we could now-a-days consider
'standard' in the common language meaning. The protocols being used for
the communication would be more of "what happens when you press on the
brake pedal which acts on the actual brake". Indeed standards for
braking systems exist:
http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/fmvss/index.html#SN105 (in this
case I guess mainly for security reasons)

So something like: position of the pedals is the client/interface (in
fact there are special cars (clients) for disabled people with specific
which use a lever instead of a pedal). Breaking mechanism: protocols.

And, I must say, that annoys me, since I once had a car with reverse
left and up, and now I have one with reverse right and down.
Especially since left and up
was pretty much standardized back in the 1930s. To make things worse,
both cars that I refer to here were made by GM in the United States.

To get back to the point, I would have no problem with .doc if it
would only stay put! And who is to say that the Skype format does not
deserve to be the
standard? It's probably as good as any, so long as everyone will
agree to use it.

I have to say that a lot of the complaints from people in our Linux
community seem to be of the NIH variety: Not Invented Here!

If skype decided to release their protocol as an open format I might agree.
Otherwise given the inpact a technology like VoIP might have now-a-days
I would like at least governments to invest in research (and of course
willing corporations could be involved) to create the best protocols for
doing it which took into account security, privacy, etc. etc. But I can
see myself being slightly idealistic there.

I think there is confusion between 'standards' (and 'open standards')
and trends. I will agree that the market can push a trend if successful,
but standards should also be concerned with the above and most of all be


Just my 2. --doug

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