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- From: len bullard <email@example.com>
- To: David Megginson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 20:21:46 -0600
David Megginson wrote:
> len bullard writes:
> > <aside>Has anyone created a list of the top characteristics of an
> > application make it most amenable to using markup? We've tossed
> > around parts of this on this list but I've not seen a thumbnail
> > version one could give to a manager that "they will
> > understand".</aside>
> Here are some, off the top of my head:
> 1. Need to work outside of a closed system.
> 2. Need to work across different hardware and software platforms.
> 3. Need to capture and save information snapshots.
> 4. Need to pass hierarchical information among components.
> 5. Need to have control over granularity of information.
> 6. Need to use information for different purposes.
> 7. Need to develop a single hub format for conversion.
> 8. Need to generate and test data easily (look how clear-text
> protocols like SMTP and HTTP won the world).
> 9. Want that cool web buzz.
Cool. A few more which are variations but important
particularly where you find all or most of them in one
or a family of applications:
1. Data needs an archival form that survives obsolescence
(eg, health care, public safety).
2. Data exists in a pipeline that moves up and between
multiple organizations (eg, health care, public safety).
3. Data exists in a pipeline where the rate of accrual/population
is high (eg, health care, public safety).
4. Data is created in a process that expands in scope
and aggregates by unanticipated discovery of new relationships
(eg. health care, public safety).
After two decades of SGML, I am still astounded by how little
information owners know or understand about the effects of
the processes by which they create, maintain and disseminate
information, and how much they pay others to know that for them.
>From top to bottom of the US Government, for example, they still
buy relational data by the ream and can't figure out why
validatible deliveries cost so freaking much, or why
the vendor charges so much for data conversion, they decline
to purchase the service (which is PRECISELY the vendor's
point). Only an idiot signs up for this kind of task
knowing that there aren't any enforceable data standards
and what awaits them is an ASCII-delimited dump of partially
matching fields and datatypes. Even at high consulting
rates, it is a loser.
I was sitting in a West Coast manager's office of Unisys a few
years ago discussing WHY one might want a true SGML-aware
browser (BeforeXML). The counter argument of the day was "HTML does
it all and MS will provide anything we need". When I presented
the argument that validatible object properties minus
behaviors was an attainable goal, he stopped in mid sentence
and said; "Damm. We've tried for years to make money off of
object-oriented stuff and lost our shirts. You say this
works better than objects or relational dbs?"
"No," I said. "It simply doesn't care which one you use, who
sells it to you, or if they go out of business or want you to."
That he bought.
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