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   Re: the death of the black box

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  • From: len bullard <cbullard@hiwaay.net>
  • To: lisarein@finetuning.com
  • Date: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 19:57:09 -0600

Lisa Rein wrote:
> What if, instead of a browser, sets of browser components were made
> available, that could be chosen from checkboxes on a form, and then
> thrown into an architecture, per the particular needs of each "surf" on
> the web?

What is the difference between this and <object parameter= constructs?

IOW, you are still scripting in the interface.  SGML/XML offers syntax 
unification:  shrink the footprint of the system by removing 
the redundant handlers. Namespaces enable system-wide unique names; 
so, at least colonization has rules for setting boundaries, not 
that they can be enforced very well, as like arms watchers, they 
can detect violations but not do a lot else (nor should they).

Architectures enable mapping of data objects.  That is a different 
beastie.  What are the advantages of having a map down a hierarchy 
of architectures to a renderable index (it is the rendering economy 
that has to be made efficient:  TimBL was right about that.)

> It's much less of a black box. And it would be harder for only one or
> two companies to have a monopoly on that box.

Hmm.  Is that true?  Unless you agree a priori on the interfaces, 
someone still has to create the rules for those.  System 
stability is not guaranteed by markup, but in theory, it helps.  

Let me go at this another way:  technology must not obsolete 
content.  So far, to get a stable browser that will enable 
content to remain viable for a period as short as a few months, 
it has come down to one major browser and one goodOutofTheGate 
but caught in the stretch contender.  IOW, the market has eliminated 
the competitors.  Yet, with the rumors of Chrome based on XML, 
non-markup notations feel a creeping isolation coming.  So, 
did markup obsolete the content?

So my question:  if architectural forms were used, would the 
syntax of the instance be not irrelevant, but at least 
mappable?  If this approach is taken, do we lose the economy 
gained by syntax unification?  If we do, then who is going to 
support the architectural approach when syntax unification 
and a six month development lead offer such compelling 
market advantages?

The spirit and soul of markup ride on the answers.


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