The Internet

The most striking example of the positive effect of standardization is the history of the Internet. The initial HTML and HTTP development made it possible to create a network where interaction did not depend on the software used. Thanks to this, all interested parties could join in the process. The subsequent development of internet technologies was carried out via several alternative ways which involved using specific browsers (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator) and content types (JavaScript, Macromedia Flash, Java applets, VBScript). Eventually, this resulted in higher costs for supporting a large number of unrelated technologies. However, further standardization activities performed by the W3C, brought technologies a common denominator, which is now known as HTML5.

This story shows that even in a situation where different approaches have initially caused chaos, the revival of a common standard allows participants to solve problems so everyone could benefit from it instead of continually fighting.