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I'm a Customer – What do I want?

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  • Peter Simpson
    I m a Customer – What do I want? a) I want the best astronomy functionality b) I want a strong market and competition between successful and profitable
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2006
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      I'm a Customer – What do I want?

      a) I want the best astronomy functionality

      b) I want a strong market and competition between successful and
      profitable suppliers

      c) I don't want to change my applications just because I change my
      hardware

      d) I don't want to see the bile and venom displayed here.

      Can an Interface standard contribute to any of the above?

      I say yes it can: Interface standards save application development
      cost because you write code once and it works for all devices that
      conform to the standard. This benefits the supplier and it benefits
      me because the supplier has more time and resources to develop
      exciting new functionality that adds value to what I do. So I think
      standards help a) and c) above.

      b) is more difficult because standards force competition by removing
      lock-in. Equally standards expand the customer base so b) could be
      neutral for the vendor and positive for the customer.

      As a customer I want to choose my applications based on their
      performance and functionality rather than on the basis of whether
      they support my hardware.

      Standards

      In my experience standards are not set by dis-interested parties. For
      me the concept of a neutral standards body is an illusion. The
      outcome may be neutral but that is only because there are as many
      people pulling to the right as are pulling to the left. The applied
      forces are considerable its just that they balance out.

      Standards are the result of agreement between partisan interests.

      So I do not think ASCOM will ever be or appear to be neutral until
      all interested parties get actively involved. Only then will the
      forces have any chance of balancing out to create the standard from
      which benefits a) b) and c) can flow.

      My plea:

      Application vendors get together!

      Meet behind closed doors; don't come out till you have a framework
      agreement for interface standards. Sort out the high level basics to
      define standards that will work for you, then let the wider community
      work with you to flesh that out to a final version.

      If you get to the point where you can't find a solution why not stop
      at agreeing what the question is and then put that to the wider
      community. There are lots of experienced and skilled people in your
      customer base that may just be able to see another angle to help
      move things forward.

      In the process above I think d) will solve itself...

      ... the only questions for me right now are who will pick up the phone
      and dial... and who will respond to the call.

      Peter
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