Wednesday, July 2, 2008 9:47:00 PM
In order for things to work (and especially “just work”) with other things, there are standards. All electrical appliances have plugs of the same shape, and that's why they can be plugged into any socket of the same standard. You don't need a Siemens socket to plug a Siemens hoover. Anyone can make a socket into which a Siemens hoover can be plugged. Any hoover can be plugged into the same socket. The owner of the apartment chooses the electric power supplier or even produces their own power. A Siemens hoover will still work in a new apartment after moving because the sockets there are the same. Even Eskimos who live in igloo and herd penguins have sockets into which a Siemens hoover can be plugged.
An Apple hoover can only be plugged into an Apple socket. There is no publicly available schematic for Apple sockets. Chinese manufacturers have disassembled a sample and started making sockets into which Apple hoovers can be plugged, but using such sockets voids the warranty on your hoover. Not every hoover can be plugged into an Apple socket. Electric power in Apple sockets is supplied by Apple's partners and is more expensive than on the free market. Apple sockets cannot be found in every apartment, but I must admit that Apple builds beautiful apartments. Apple sockets are never found in igloo because Apple has no interest in that market. Nobody knows what the plugs of the next generation Apple hoovers will look like, and whether they can be plugged into Chinese sockets.
© Martin Bekkelund, 2008.
This is a picture from the photo-report about the demonstration in Oslo against accepting the OOXML format pushed by Microsoft as an ISO standard. A banner can be seen in the picture: «Nei til nye stikkontakter» («No to new sockets»). On the right, with a megaphone in his hands, is Håkon Wium Lie, CTO of Opera Software and the inventor of the CSS technology. To him I'm grateful for the idea of the plug-and-socket analogy which I somewhat developed here.
By the way, here is an article in the Norwegian newspaper VG where the bottom picture captures yours truly taking part in the demonstration.
UPDATE: No, it's not a Siemens advertisement. I just needed some placeholder.
UPDATE: For the sake of justice I must admit I've got no complaint against Apple's browser department. Thanks to these guys for their decent and fair competition, for active participation in the web standardization process and for active cooperation with fellow browser makers on security issues.