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Standards and the Victorian Internet

Standards and Standard Setting using the Telegraph as an Example
by

Jason Thatcher

on 11 September 2014

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Transcript of Standards and the Victorian Internet


Telegraphy
D. The long-distance transmission of messages via some signalling technology.
Requires a code or language known to both a sender and a receiver
Requires a medium
The medium limits the code's design
Smoke
Beacon
Heliograph
Limits?
Optical Telegraph
Weather
Daylight
Speed
Semaphore
Visual
Telegraphy
Flag
Semaphore
Signal
Lamp
Claude Chappe
1763-1805
Napoleon
Prussia
United States
England
RIP 1880
Precision
Why didn't the
Optical Telegraph
change the world?
Cost
Quality
Security
Convenience
Jean-Antoine Nollet - April 1746
Hold This?
Two hundred monks into a circle about a mile in circumference, with pieces of iron wire connecting them. He then discharged a battery of Leyden jars through the human chain and observed that each man reacted at substantially the same time to the electric shock, showing that the speed of electricity's propagation was very high.
Electric Telegraph
A myth ... first
described in a
science magazine
in 1753
Sameul Morse
painter
minister
inventor
1832 - on an Atlantic voyage
He witnessed electromagnetism
1832 - submits a patent
1843 - receives U.S. Government support
1847 - receives a patent
I have been so constantly under the necessity of watching the movements of the most unprincipled set of pirates I have ever known, that all my time has been occupied in defense, in putting evidence into something like legal shape that I am the inventor of the Electro-Magnetic Telegraph!! Would you have believed it ten years ago that a question could be raised on that subject?
-Samuel Morse, 1848
Cooke (England)
Wheatstone (England)
Weber (Germany)
Carl Gauss (Germany)
Competition
Standardization
1851 Europe adopted Morse's equipment and code as the norm ... the sole holdout was the British Empire
Morse Code
Accurate
Replicable
Quick
24 hour
Encryption
Standard for communication
until 1997
Why did a standard take so long to develop?
Competition
Security
Cost
New Technology
Misunderstanding
Credit
Interoperability
Acceptance
Society
Commerce
Government
Disruptive Change
ISO - International
Organization for
Standardization
ITU - International
Telecommunications Union
(1865)
De Jure Standards
De Facto Standards
Industry Driven
Standards

Standard Setting
Organizations
Business
Government
Nonprofit
An organization that attempts to set standards or make recommendations which, when widely deployed, become de facto standards.
ISO is a non-governmental organization for standards with its secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. Membership of ISO is open only to national standards institutes or similar organizations most representative of standardization in their country (one member in each country). Currently, there are over 150 members representing nations from all over the world.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
Institute of Eletrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Reflect perceived needs of member organizations
A working committee floats a draft standard
Voting by members
Revisited by
the working
committee
Eventually published
Adv: Formal and
and accountable
group
Adv: Participation
by all interested parties
Disadv:

Time
Disav: Lobbying
by commercial
interests
Disadv: Not
always adopted;
may lose your shirt
Accepted without
a formal
review process
Sourced in industry
Adv: You
know it will
be used in
industry
Adv: Updates
quickly
Disadv: Usually owned by someone
Disadv: Lock-in
Sometimes incorporated into de jure standards
VHS vs. Betamax
Blue Ray vs. HD-DVD
Voluntary participation
Sourced in industry
group
Stakeholders of the
industry or actual
manufacturers
May become de jure
standards
Created to avoid
govt intervention
Created to encourage
cooperation
W3C
Towers 10 to 20 miles apart
1792 sent a message from Paris to Lille


Standards and the Victorian Internet
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