conventions vs. standards

On Thu, 19 Aug 2004, M. Sean Gilligan wrote:
>> we need to do something about this different codec bullshit.
>> why is this such a hassle?
>> is there a solution?
> I think a set of conventions can minimize the hassle.

First off, yes. Conventions do good. But conventions are not the same as
standards. Word is a convention, TCP/IP is a standard. TCP enables
global communication, Word enables communication within a restricted pool
of users.

There exist all kinds of conventions. QuickTime is one, certainly on
Macs. But QT doesn't play in Real (which was the main video convention
for Windows machines in the 90s), Real doesn't play in QT, Windows Media
(coming on very strong now) doesn't play in QuickTime or Real, and
QuickTime and Real don't play in Windows Media Player.

All of these play MP4, needless to say, because it's a standard rather
than a convention.

Imagine if you could only swap emails with other Mac users, and how much
smaller your internet would be. That's the difference between a standard
and a convention.

– Lucas