We imagine that we now live in a "web" world. Java, JSP, EJB -- the COBOL of the internet. We imagine that things are more "standardised" now, we imagine that such vendor dependancy doesn't exist, can't exist.
But the more things change, the more they stay the same...
"Peter Tippett, chief technologist at security risk management firm Cybertrust, said Firefox will probably gain market share with home and small business users but will struggle in the enterprise because corporate applications have not been built to work with anything but IE."I know from my past life, where my employer did a lot of "conversion" projects, how every vendor had proprietary extensions to COBOL, so that no two COBOLs were alike, and moving from Burroughs to IBM (for example) was a major exercise for even one small subsystem. Heck even IBM AS/400 COBOL was nowhere near the same as IBM S/390 COBOL (and still isn't, I think!)
Not that there weren't "standards" then -- but ANSI COBOL was at least regarded as a bare minimum by vendors, even if they "embraced and extended" it in different ways. IE doesn't even care about adherence to W3C standards.
And so the promise of a "web interface" gets subverted. The critical systems we use now are just as "proprietary" as those COBOLs were, or those Powerbuilder systems (anyone remember those?) were just before the web took over.
And every time a Linux user is forced to borrow a Windows machine and use IE to get onto a much needed application, we're caught in this "web". And every time we don't complain to the right people (be it our bank, our credit card company, or an employer), we're perpetuating this Ayn Randian dystopia of Microsoft's.
Because that was their game plan anyway, and if we got caught, that's our problem.