Broken Tools (was Re: [prog] [C] strings bug)

Mary mary-linuxchix at
Sun Apr 13 11:49:50 EST 2003

On Sat, Apr 12, 2003, Jimen Ching wrote:
> Does the book mention how long before this occured?  I mean, what is
> the length of time between when the railroad industry was created, and
> when this standard was put into place?

The clock changed on 18th November 1883. (p79-80).

Elsewhere it mentions that by 1835, five times as many people were
travelling by rail as had travelled by all other means put together in
1830 (p 139). By 1860, there were 30 000 miles of railway more rail than
in the entire rest of the world (p 139).

So at least fifty years after the beginning of the rail industry and at
least twenty years (probably more) after it had become a major industry.

It's worth noting that some major industries do not have entirely
interoperable standards to this day. For example, in many countries you
drive on the left, and in many others on the right, side of the road.
Cars from the US can't be driven in Australia for this reason (the
driver needs to sit on the right not the left).

And even within a country, you need to buy car parts from your own car
manufacturer, photographic lenses from the manufacturer of your camera,
and so on - lock-in effect, somewhat like that exhibited with many
software tools.


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