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This is a vast topic with each item having it's own discussion (read: Shouting Match) within Computer Engineering, defined broadly.

Let me take:

Rationally designed specs and standards on the national or international level, to insure that things work together and meet minimum standards of reliability and flexibility.

as the easiest to address.

There are national and international specifications and standards.  Take take good old American National Standard Institute (ANSI.)  They've spent decades coming-up with specs and standards for the hoary C language.  Problem is there's no national or international enforcement and so what happens is the people who implement the standards "improve" them in various ways.  The result are flavors of 'ANSI' C which are incompatible to each other, to the ANSI standard, and to the original language; the latter so much so examples in the standard, basic, manual on the language (The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie) no longer compiles per examples using gcc, the widest available C compiler.  

Before Colman jumps on me, I note there are reasons for people to improve on the standard.  Some of them are valid.  Some are, as we call it, religious, i.e., strongly held opinions based on personal preference, training, experience, and job-at-hand.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:28:42 PM EST

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