Friday, January 15, 2010

On mobile phones and standards

Today I received a new mobile phone, since one of our family's mobile phone was broken, we did some shifting around, and it was my turn to get a new one. Starting to work with it was somewhat frustrating, I found myself in unknown territory, although it was produced by the same vendor of the old phone, they did not succeed to move the ringtones from my previous phone (although I purchased them in their store), since there is no standard for ringtones and each instrument represents it differently so they gave me a credit to get free ringtones from their store. They succeeded to move the list of my contact persons (there is a standard for that), but not the different groups defined for the contact person (no standard), the user interface is totally different, and requires some learning and more.

I have changed laptops several times in the last few years, and the transition was smooth, everything just worked -- no need to study anything new.

In our world of event processing we are not in better shape then in mobile phones, actually we are worse. In the event processing course that I have been teaching this semester, the students had a task to study six languages (each team has its own languages) and on Monday they will present the result of their experiments. I thought about it when struggling with the phone, if one of them was in the team that studied language X in the course, and tomorrow they find themselves working with another language, this might be somewhat confusing for them. In the course I am teaching our building block approach, which is valid for all languages. Working with standard oriented software is easier, we still have a challenge here.

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