I am spending this afternoon preparing a paper for a colleague to use that addresses the question of which technology I should use today anticipating the release of Indigo next year. Yes, I know Juval Lowy and Richard Turner have already written articles on that subject: they are here and here. I’d be very happy if those articles serve your needs completely, but they don’t fully satisy my colleague, so I do have work to do. Anyway, I have always found the question utterly absurd, and today, I was finally able to properly explain why.
The absurdity becomes apparent through an anology with modes of human transportation. Today, each standard transportation technology is restricted to facilitating a particular type of transportation. If one requires inexpensive transportation with the lowest drain on natural resources, then one should use a commuter train, but if one needs fast, private transportation over relatively short distances, then one should use an automobile, and if one must have fast transportation to anywhere on the planet, then a jet aircraft is the only option. Now, imagine if one received notice from one’s government that it would be providing everyone with a vehicle, free of charge, that one could keep forever to fly quickly to anywhere on Earth, traveling more safely than in any vehicle existing today, and as easily to a different continent as to the local grocery store, all without burning fossil fuels and costing no more to use than a monthly commuter train pass. The only bad news in the government’s notice is that one would have to learn to pilot the new vehicles, although that was demonstrably much easier than learning to drive a car, and that the vehicles themselves would only be available at some unspecified date next year. However, the government was also encouraging everyone to try out prototypes that were available now, and providing large teams dedicated to assisting in the maintenance of the vehicles, and a second generation prototype would be delivered to everyone soon that would have a government-issued safety rating. In that scenario, one might or might not leap into one of the current prototypes for some low-speed and low-altitude hops, although most people probably would. However, almost no sensible person would ask, “given that these new vehicles will be given to everyone next year, which type of car should I invest in today?” Asking which technology for communication among software entities one should adopt today anticipating the forthcoming release of Indigo next year, is about as absurd. One should naturally begin using the prototypes of the Indigo right now, and certainly forego any investment in existing technologies for communication among software entities for the time being.