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A Freakonomic Take on Open Standards and Jakarta EE

A Freakonomic Take on Open Standards and Jakarta EE

Words like standard, de-facto, de-jure and open are frequently used and abused in our industry. The reality is that few people really understand what these words actually mean or how these ideas effect their own professional lives in the long and short term.

This session aims to clear the air on some of these terms and outline why open standards like Jakarta EE are critically important to you today and in the future. We will explore these concepts in the context of well-established economic theories on competition, monopoly power, the network effect, innovation, open source and open standards - in true Freakonomist style!

Reza Rahman

May 08, 2018
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  1. A Freakonomic Take
    on Open Standards
    and Jakarta EE
    Reza Rahman
    Jakarta EE Ambassador, Author, Blogger, Speaker
    [email protected]
    @reza_rahman

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  2. Freakonomics!?

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  3. Standards are Everywhere!
    Linux Standard Base (LSB) ANSI C SSL CSS USB SCSI UML
    UDP HTML5 SSH Jakarta EE TLS SMTP OMG SQL
    DOM X.905 JWT SIP XML MPEG Ada POSIX LDAP RFID
    SNMP Java SE ICMP PNG W3C IGMP Prolog WebSocket
    TCP/IP IMAP OAuth ISBN AMQP JCP SVG Fortran TIFF CGI
    MicroProfile Ruby XA SATA C++ ISO C# DNS OSGi
    Telnet MIME Basic HTTP/2 HDMI ASCII COBOL JavaScript
    ECMAScript OASIS UNICODE JSON JPEG Pascal SOAP
    OpenID Connect FTP PDF DHCP POP3 MAC IETF MQTT WSDL

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  4. Why Standards?
    • Interoperability
    • Compatibility/portability
    • Reliable baseline quality of service
    • Stable core for broad ecosystems
    • Maximize vendor and implementation neutrality, minimize lock-in risks
    • Reducing unnecessary fragmentation
    • Maintain healthy competitive ecosystems

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  5. Economists Care About Open Standards?
    What are Standards? Why are They Important?
    https://beyondstandards.ieee.org/what-are-standards-why-are-they-important
    An Economic Basis for Open Standards
    https://www.iso.org/sites/materials/benefits-of-standards/benefits-detail8d6d.html
    Studies on Benefits of Standards
    https://www.iso.org/sites/materials/benefits-of-standards/benefits_repositoryb2f3.html

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  6. The Network Effect

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  7. The End Result
    Network
    Effect
    Open
    Standard
    De-Facto
    Standard

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  8. Polar Opposites

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  9. Real Life “De-Facto Standards”

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  10. Perils of “Monopoly Power”
    • Higher long-term pricing, predatory pricing
    • Low levels of long-term innovation and quality of service
    • Fewer market choices, high entry barriers, anti-competitive behaviors
    • High risk monoculture ecosystem

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  11. How Open Standards Work

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  12. It’s All in the Process, Baby
    https://jakarta.ee/committees/specification/guide

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  13. The Specification Triad(s)
    Implementation
    Implementation
    Implementation
    Specification
    Documents
    Compatible
    Implementations
    Compatibility
    Test Kit
    Reference
    Implementation
    Partial
    Implementations
    Governance Stakeholders Community

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  14. Open Standards + Open Source
    • Linux
    • POSIX
    • Single UNIX Specification (SUS)
    • Linux Standard Base (LSB)
    • Apache httpd
    • HTTP, URI, TLS
    • http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/misc/relevant_standards.html
    • MySQL, PostgreSQL
    • SQL
    • https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/8.0/en/compatibility.html
    • Java SE, Jakarta EE, MicroProfile, JavaScript/ECMAScript…

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  15. Usual Complaints Against Standards
    • Standards are slow
    • Design by committee
    • Standards don’t guarantee portability
    • Standards don’t have feature XYZ
    • Standards don’t innovate
    • It’s just a bunch of vendor experts

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  16. Nothing in Real Life is Perfect
    “Perfect” Real Life

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  17. The Truth About Open Standards
    • Standards are slow
    • Broad consensus and getting things right takes time
    • Design by committee
    • Do we want consensus building or benevolent dictatorships?
    • Standards don’t guarantee portability
    • Still better than lock-in and very high switching costs
    • Standards don’t have feature XYZ
    • The core of an ecosystem should be simple, lean and avoid feature bloat
    • Standards don’t innovate
    • In fact, they do and over-standardizing the unproven or niche case is a bad idea
    • It’s just a bunch of vendor experts
    • This hasn’t been true of Java open standards for a long time!

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  18. Help Make Perfect

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  19. Jakarta EE
    https://jakarta.ee

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  20. Jakarta EE Ambassadors
    https://jakartaee-ambassadors.io

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  21. There are no Silver Bullets

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  22. Beyond Open Standards
    • Not everything should be standardized
    • Extensions should always expand frontiers
    • Standards should adopt common, mature, proven ideas from the ecosystem
    • Proving ground for alternate approaches and innovation
    • Standards can safeguard against monopolies but do not guarantee a healthy competitive ecosystem
    • Not reinvesting in the standard in established markets
    • Complacency, collusion (innocent or otherwise)
    • There should be peaceful co-existence with answers beyond the standard
    • Should be treated as integral part of the broader standards ecosystem
    • Should be regarded as valued and cordial counterweights
    • A healthy set of choices is beneficial to all
    Ultimately, it’s all up to you, the empowered user!

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