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   Re: XPointer's sleeping ???

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  • From: len bullard <cbullard@hiwaay.net>
  • To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 19:13:29 -0600

Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> Uh, yes to both.  And in case you've forgotten, I was the fool who started
> XSchema - and passed it on to another editor (for whose work I'm extremely
> grateful) when I was too busy to complete it rather than sitting on it for
> months.

And you have results to show for it.  I'm willing to bet real money that
who worked on that learned a lot.  Whatever the W3C comes up with, they
to show it to a much smarter audience, right?  Well done.  Hardly

> Second, I've already been told to "go to your room" once on this list (yes,
> that's a quote!) when I proposed work (XSchema) that overlapped with the
> W3C's proposed work. 

Unless they start coming to your house and threatening violence, 
take that sort of email as the bullying it is and understand it 
is done by a bully.  Give this some thought:  what is soooo 
important or sooo brilliant it has to be hidden while being 
designed.  I can see that for the initial design while trying to 
work out what goes in which orifice, but after that, no.  It is 
what it looks like:  exclusive collusion.  Think:  Xlink and 
Xpointer are based on work that has been going on for at least a 
decade now.  How much CAN it change?  One of the results of HyTime 
was the knowledge that links come down to a handful of types.  
I am mystified by the delays but they probably have more to 
do with resources, coordination, the usual sloth of design by 
committee and consensus, not malevolent: just entropy.

> If I could open the W3C process, or start a new parallel open process, I
> would.  

You did once and it was successful.  It has been done by others just as 
successfully.   What you may not get is the support of the dues paying 
members of the W3C.  OTOH, you might.  It isn't a monolith and shouldn't 
be considered such.   If by open process, you get a better design, what 
competitor would use an inferior one just to stay even with the other 
competitive members of the club.  Nope.  Doesn't work that way.  Now 
will some talk your design down?  Sure.  Will they take your ideas and
them?  Certainly.  That is the risk of openness and the reason some 
work in cloisters.   It is called Fear.  OTOH, if they do and the 
overall system improves, you did your job even if they got the credit.  

There is no end to what you can get done if you don't mind who gets 
the credit.  OTOH, cash and carry takes no credit.

>  Since neither of those things is possible (the W3C won't likely
> open its doors if I just plain ask, and a parallel effort would have no
> credibility), I'm pretty much left to suggest what might have been _if_ the
> W3C had an open process instead of this closed process -> open standards
> approach they take now.

The W3C can't.  Their members forbid it.  They fear it.

Let the Dead Software Society go to their cave and read from ancient 
books of lore.  Running code doesn't care.  That was the lesson 
I learned watching the birth of the web.

I will slither back under the rock now.  Next week, I have to 
convince a certain nubile to eat a green apple. :-)


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