How is adoption across the industry going?
Adoption by software product is one of my biggest priorities this year. It is not so easy for big platforms to integrate the Crosswalk API—despite its benefits—because they are mature products with large code bases. Imagine, for example, a platform with half a million lines of code that wants to be able to integrate the Crosswalk product. It is not trivial to integrate such a fundamental API and then thoroughly test it. In the early days, we are getting more traction with startups, because it is something they can implement into their code base quickly.
This sounds like the gas-versus-electric car argument about 10 years ago
The analogy is exactly right. You are talking about an ecosystem. Back then, there was one point about gas versus electric car that does not apply anymore—electric cars could not go as far. But the bigger issue was there was no ecosystem. Getting batteries and getting them charged was hard. We are essentially entering an ecosystem as a non-standalone product; someone else must change their product to use ours. These players see the value and are putting it on their roadmap. That said, we are going to see smaller companies adopting the Crosswalk product more quickly and larger companies doing it more slowly.
What is the tipping point?
I do not think there is a tipping point. Just steady adoption. The term “tipping point” assumes social pressure. There is a moment when everyone is doing it, so you must do it. That does not really apply to most ingredient brands like the Crosswalk product. So, we will tell the story that use of standards is better when the software includes the Crosswalk API, and work directly with all players in the ecosystem to ensure adoption.
Who is championing the Crosswalk product right now?
In software companies, it is often senior management or the product team, because they see how the Crosswalk API is saving time and effort. Software creators do not have to think about how they will manage MasterFormat or the other standards ever again. When CSI updates the standards, the software companies do not have to change anything—the API will handle it all. What we are doing is what software is supposed to do, which is to make the process automatic. It pulls the process away and makes it our problem, not yours.
In the past, and for many software products now, every time there is a revision to these standards, someone must re-hard code everything, then test it. That’s potentially hundreds of workhours. We are saving software companies a lot of money and anxiety by automatically updating it for them. Further, this will make downstream use of their output much more effective and useful.
How can one start using the Crosswalk product today?
Visit www.crosswalk.biz/home for a tour, and to contact the Crosswalk team to set up a demo. Let us know if we can answer any questions by emailing email@example.com.
Peter Kray is a content strategist with CSI. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.