If all goes according to schedule, the printed edition of this magazine issue will begin making its circuitous path to subscribers' mailboxes on November 6, which happens to be Election Day here in the United States. By the time you read these words, in all likelihood the election will be complete and the winner decided.
At the time of this writing, the candidates for President of the United States have had two debates, with a third scheduled. Rather than wallow in the world of political sniping, I'll say that during the debates in particular, both candidates have demonstrated the importance of presenting a polished appearance, and the consequences of an unpolished presentation.
Appropriately, the concept of "polished" pops up numerous times throughout this issue. It is the very obvious theme of William Graham's Perspective column that begins on page 29. Graham laments that our industry has moved far away from the days of fiber-optic installers and technicians injecting epoxy into connectors, scribing and breaking the fiber that protrudes from the ferrule, then polishing that fiber to a finish.
The fiber-connectivity technology that has been developed since the days of fiber polishing, Graham contends, has been manufacturer-driven and customer-accepted. It certainly has not been installer-driven and maybe, just maybe, it leaves a lot of talented installers without much opportunity to put their skills to use for the benefit of end users.
Graham operates a fiber-optic training organization, and as such, is A) well experienced in the full gamut of fiber-connectivity technology available today, and B) interested in seeing more individuals obtain or master the fiber-polishing skills of which he speaks.
This Perspective article, like others we publish periodically, can be considered a guest editorial. It's an opinion piece with a historical or factual basis. Something tells me there might be a person or two interested in providing a counterpoint to what Graham says on these pages. If that's the case, please let me know. We like to be a forum for the exchange of ideas, especially when those ideas are fact-based and discuss matters that have a practical impact on the manner in which cabling systems are designed, installed or managed.
For different takes on "polished," read the articles on the value of a well-administered cabling system (page 25) and the benefits of DCIM (page 15).
And if by some chance you're reading this on or before November 6, and you're in the U.S., please vote.