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- From: Len Bullard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: Robin Cover <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 20:07:24 -0600
The aggregate of W3C standards are a reinvention of HyTime in
the sense that they set out to standardize the same scope of
concepts. If it looks like strip mining, in a sense it is,
but that is Ok because as many of us know, many of the same
people are involved. There is no ISO vs W3C in this area.
There are different authorities, but the same minions.
XML is still SGML On The Web and while it may be fun or
profitable to ignore that fact, it is still just ignorance.
We came here to work together. Some are asking about HyTime,
so let's get into that. It is worth doing.
It might be good to understand some history. *ACK NO! NOT THAT!*
Why? Politics and personalities are what they are, power, tactics
all of that, but they get us no closer to understanding HyTime. It
is true that I was around a bit after hyTime emerged, and worked
with its inventors. It is true that by the time we got to the
Vancouver conference, and after some experience, I no longer had
the foggiest idea what Eliot and Steven were saying in their
Those experiences made me a believer in HTML in the same way
IADS made me a believer in fixed tags for certain constructs
in hypertext systems: easy to learn, solves the problems at hand,
gets the income stream started to feed the staff. IOW, I may not
be the brightest bulb, but I am qualified in the application of
hypertext systems and if Mikey can't understand it, something
is amiss. A standard the user cannot apply is not a useful standard
(see David, we can all be taut..).
HyTime is brilliant, but brilliance blinds as well as illuminates.
Sometimes the best position for a light is behind, above and slightly
to the left. So, a statement for finding the position: standards
derail, in my experience, when the problem to be solved by them is
not (adequately understood | clearly stated | closed). I am asking
Dr. Newcomb, the only one besides Dr. Goldfarb on this list who
was there at the beginning to verify or refute the following, and
fill in the rationale. I would be delighted if Dr Goldfarb would
1. True or False: hyTime started (little H deliberate as a music
standard. The problem(s) to be solved were synchronization and an
application language for a musical notation. What requirements of music
made the hyTime designers move into a larger scope of standardization
(Intergrated Open Hypermedia: Bibliographic Model).
2. True of False: There originally WAS a hyTime DTD. Why was
3. When at its most widely studied, HyTime included an exhaustive
set of linking and location models. At this point, the synchronization
facility was expressed using these. Why did linking and location become
the dominant feature of HyTime?
4. True or False: Groves are a concept borrowed from DSSSL, a
style language, itself, originally that was altered to include
Semantics. What requirement in a linking and location standard
resulted in a unification with the DSSSL groves concept?
If we can understand the decisions made during the decade long
design of ISO 10744, we can better understand the concepts because
we will understand the problems it tries to solve before we try
to understand how it solves them. It took ten years to make
HyTime obscure. The W3C has beaten that speed record with
the XML specs. The XML Schema is a mess. Put it with all the
others and Dr. Newcomb is justified in saying this is a
disaster. So, yes, time for some simplifications. Perhaps
understanding the way another standard tried to solve the
same problems is a clarifying experience.
BTW: Tao. It means, "the way". In that system, there are
many ways; they lead to the same place. Aware intelligence
can decide to go there together.. or not. It is more important to
understand that than it is to understand HyTime because
the effect of community is much stronger than the effect
of monopoly or consortium. Authority is choice, and
whether as in the Tao, this is opposites, or as in Tao,
extremes of the same continuum, intelligence still
must choose for community.
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