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Commentary

The end of this unordered list of NDC R&D fitscapes marks the beginning of the journey for software developers. There is no avoiding the complexities we've unleashed if we would move forward.

In a little over two decades, NDC R&D, coupled with the immutable laws of supply and demand and seasoned by an early 21st-century shock wave of realization that Moore's law really was an accurate, practical forecasting model rather than science fiction, has given rise to a interleaved group of fitscapes that is beginning to rival some of nature's own more interesting efforts. Not unlike the universe it would help us to understand, the sphere of computer science is enjoying an inflationary era, as the rate of innovation continues to accelerate, following its own exponential vector—somewhere between Moore and Gilder, applauded by Metcalfe.

In this era of ever-changing change, it may be wise to consider Stuart Kauffman's observation that the rate of innovation cannot exceed the ability of the fitscape to adequately test the novelty without risking systemic collapse. If we move too fast, we may experience spectacular collapse, the magnitude of which we cannot even grasp, let alone predict.

If any conclusions can be drawn from an overview of NDC and the relationships among its 24 fitscapes, they can be summarized as follows:

  1. Complexity will continue to increase, absent radically different approaches.

  2. Formal methods are enjoying a renaissance while standardization efforts both ignore and embrace formal methods.

  3. Increasing global competition and COTS technologies will prune the complex undergrowth of NDC R&D options.

  4. Technology adoption will continue to increase only if perceived value is obvious to the markets (and hence consumers) which that technology would serve.

  5. No one individual, standardization effort, organization, or concern can adequately prestate NDC configuration space. Indeed, as Kauffman asserts, it is very likely impossible.

  6. The kaleidoscope of NDC categories are all related; convergence among categories of NDC R&D is inevitable.

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