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Standards make up the most important issue in the computer field. As an unregulated industry, we have wound up with thousands of data formats and languages, but few standards that are universally used. This subject is as heated as politics and religion to vendors and industry planners. In order to truly understand this industry, it is essential to understand the categories for which standards are created.

No matter how much the industry talks about compatibility, new formats and languages appear routinely. The standards makers are always trying to cast a standard in concrete, while the innovators are trying to create a new one. Even when standards are created, they are violated as soon as one vendor adds a proprietary extension.

The Future

After 60 some years of computing, we have managed to create thousands of languages, formats and interfaces. While many become bona fide standards endorsed by recognized standards organizations such as ANSI and the IEEE, some of the most widely used are de facto standards. Intel and Microsoft products are the most obvious examples.

Although the Internet has helped immensely by creating global standards, we have already gone through several versions of software for rendering Web pages. Email demands new standards because 90% of it is spam.

As we forge ahead, there is a point where we can no longer cling to the old designs for compatibility. At that time, the new has to break from the past. The previous infrastructure only holds us back, no different than constructing a new building on top of a weak foundation. It seems to be the way of things. See standards bodies.

Standards Categories
These are the major categories of electronic systems that require standards. Developing information systems in today's environment often seems like the Tower of Babel.

See standards - character codes.

See standards - DBMSs.

See standards - file management systems.

See standards - graphics systems.

See standards - hardware interfaces.

See standards - Internet.

See standards - machine languages.

See standards - multimedia documents.

See standards - networking.

See standards - operating systems.

See standards - programming languages.

See standards - storage media.

See standards bodies.
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References in classic literature ?
* Rockefeller began as a member of the proletariat, and through thrift and cunning succeeded in developing the first perfect trust, namely that known as Standard Oil.
Rockefeller owns Standard Oil stock worth between four and five hundred millions at the market quotations.
"Of course I make more money with the Standard Oil Company and I'm only telling you," he added.
Either the value of land, or the number of the people, may serve as a standard. The state of agriculture and the populousness of a country have been considered as nearly connected with each other.
The leaders, of course, observed a due decorum, but some of the subalterns could not restrain their chuckling exultation, boasting that they would soon plant the British standard on the walls of Astoria, and drive the Americans out of the country.
Because the calibration of NIST's equipment is not integrated with the transducer calibration, the NIST Mass and Force Group must maintain a separate calibration of this instrumentation relative to national voltage standards. The uncertainty [u.sub.v] of this electrical calibration must be incorporated into the combined standard uncertainty [u.sub.c] of the force calibration procedure.
The present study investigated graduate and undergraduate teacher candidates' assessment literacy by identifying the extent to which assessment standards were met.
Financial reports produced by companies domiciled in various countries contain financial statements based on very different accounting standards. Multinational companies operating or raising capital must maintain multiple accounting records and financial reports, and international investors and financial analysts must grapple to understand them.
If one were to ask members of the Department of Defense acquisition workforce whether or not military standards may be used in their programs, the responses might be surprising.
ExpressCard technology will typically require less electrical power than products built on previous PC Card standards although the slot power specification does provide adequate peak current to meet the needs of applications such as wireless transmitters.
When complete, the new feature will cover all core curricula subjects and will include all states' standards for English Language Arts, Mathematics, Sciences, and Social Studies/Sciences-plus national standards for Technology and Health.