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Chapter 7. Implementation Strategies > The Role of Standards

The Role of Standards

Part of the core philosophy of the Internet is the use of standards to ensure interoperability among components from different vendors. TCP/IP, the core protocols of the Internet, are defined independently of any one vendor, and that definition is what makes it possible for two computers owned by different people, manufactured by different companies, running different software, to communicate with each other.

Just what is a standard, anyway? In the computer business, we often talk about two kinds of standards, de jure and de facto. The first kind, de jure standards, are the standards specified by designated organizations that are recognized to have some authority. These include organizations such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). These groups develop standards as a collaborative process among representatives from companies and other organizations that are involved in developing a particular technology area.


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