Many moons ago when the issue of fibre networking standards (now replayed with WiFi of course) was boiling away nicely, I remember a colleague remarking: “Ah standards, if you don’t like one you can always choose another”. This has been on my mind of late, as the product I am validating at the moment is part of an Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). After years of avoiding it I’ve been plunged deep in to MS SharePoint2007. However, the real jungle is e-learning standards.
In theory it would be nice if all content/software/hardware was compatible with each other – hence standards. But who decides? We mainly have to think about SCORM – there are a number of different standards bodies fighting it out, including the US Defense Department, before you even think about all various interested parties in the industry. My friend Andrew chairs and industry software standard committee and I really feel for him. I need to understand this stuff to test if our products are compliant, but as no-one has yet agreed what they have to be complaint with, it’s all a bit Kafkaesque.
In the meantime I’ll listen to the nice CD I was given as a late birthday present and devise tests to make sure students can’t do evil things to each others avatars.
Note to self: Don’t listen to Johnny Cash singing ‘One’ at work – audible sobbing tends to spook your colleagues.