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[ih] Fwd: [IP] OSI: The Internet That Wasn't

    > IEEE Spectrum just published online, titled "OSI: The Internet That
    > Wasn't" 

>From my perspective on those events, I think it's a pretty accurate history.
aThe one comment I have about it is that I think it focuses a bit too much on
the standards process stuff (including its effect on the design); there were
other things that I think were significant contributors to OSI's failure.

E.g. the TCP/IP world had a head-start on deployment (i.e.
installed-base/user-community), and that was really a Big Deal. Metcalfe's
Law does make sense when you think about it (the point of a communication
network is to communicate, and on a bigger network, you can communicate with
more people...)

TCP/IP's head start meant that at point X, when the race began (for pretty
much any X), it had a bigger user community, and that was a huge advantage.

I mean, the average user didn't give two hoots about whether the TP0 .. TP4
siblings were duplicative, or whether the IETF process was more effective than
ISO's, or whatever; they just wanted to use the network to communicate. And
there were a lot of people on the Internet already... So when they had to
decide which community to join (AKA which protocol family to bring up), the
answer was fairly obvious.

And of course, that effect fed back into itself rather directly...