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


  1. 1.

    A Freakonomic Take on Open Standards and Jakarta EE Reza

    Rahman Jakarta EE Ambassador, Author, Blogger, Speaker reza_rahman@lycos.com @reza_rahman
  2. 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
  3. 5.

    Economists Care About Open Standards? What are Standards and Why

    are They Important? http://www.iso.org/iso/livelinkgetfile?llNodeId=21878&llVolId=-2000 An Economic Basis for Open Standards http://www.iso.org/iso/fr/home/about/training-technical-assistance/standards-in- education/education_innovation-list/educational_innovation-detail.htm?emid=1441 Studies on Benefits of Standards http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/benefitsofstandards/benefits_repository.htm
  4. 10.

    Perils of “Monopoly Power” • Higher long-term pricing, predatory pricing

    • Fewer market choices, high entry barriers, anti-competitive behaviors • Low levels of competition, long-term innovation and quality of service • High risk monoculture ecosystem
  5. 13.

    The Specification Triad(s) Implementation Implementation Implementation Specification Documents Compatible Implementations

    Compatibility Test Kit Reference Implementation Implementation Partial Implementations Governance Stakeholders Community
  6. 14.
  7. 15.

    Open Standards and 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 • http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.7/en/compatibility.html • Java SE, Java EE, Jakarta EE, JavaScript, C/C++, …
  8. 16.

    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
  9. 18.

    It’s Not Black and White • Standards are slow •

    Broad consensus and getting things right takes time • Design by committee • Do we want consensus or benevolent dictatorships? • Standards don’t guarantee portability • Still better than lock-in • Standards don’t have feature XYZ • The core of an ecosystem can’t be bloated or complex • 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
  10. 23.

    Thinking 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 not oligarchies • 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 standards ecosystem • Should be treated as valued and cordial counterweights • Choice is good Ultimately, it’s all up to you, the empowered user!
  11. 24.