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Re: The FinancialData Function
I've never heard of this function, but have one immediate strong reaction/question: Is there -- or will there soon be -- a fully open, officially standardized, fully and openly specified, widely and near universally accepted, stable, long-term, NON-proprietary set of **formats** for the data and information that is to be transmitted back and forth between data providers and data users in this system? [Something akin to the more or less open, universal and stable graphics standards that have emerged over time.] Lacking that, I wouldn't personally go near this kind of financial data distribution system and related tools like FinancialData for building anything that was of any real and continuing importance to me. Think of mapping data, GPS and topographic data, or satellite imagery and related software tools as an analogous system. I play with some of this data, plan journeys using MapQuest, hiking trips using Google Earth (an incredible tool), etc -- but if someone suddenly decided to change all the standards for this data, I could still use all my old stored data and tools -- or just do without. (There would of course be many important commercial enterprises that would be much more seriously impacted.) But then suppose people get important, continuing personal or business activities deeply involved in an information system that uses tools like FinancialData; the data providers and Wolfram somehow get cross-wise commercially; and the data providers threaten to change their formats just enough to screw Wolfram (and all FinancialData users). Or, suppose the data providers decide to throw digital rights management complexities all over their data, as is the case now with music, films, video -- and the deep pockets financial data providers manage to bribe Congress to require that all computer tools like FinancialData contain provisions to enforce these DRM complexities. This may all come across as paranoid fears, and maybe it is -- but look what has actually happened in other areas of widely distributed electronic information distribution . . .