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   Re: A certain difficulty

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  • From: Walter Underwood <wunder@infoseek.com>
  • To: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>, xml-dev@xml.org, www-rdf-interest@w3.org
  • Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 09:33:44 -0800

At 06:20 PM 2/27/00 -0500, Dan Brickley wrote:
> > My suggestion is that you ASK THE USER before rewritting it or killing it.
> > I'm starting the "Save the RDF" movement.
>Things seem to have got a little alarmist! Nobody is talking about
>rewriting or killing it.

Though some people are talking about letting it sink or swim,
and not shedding too many tears if it sinks. It is OK for
technologies to fail in the market. It is even OK for a W3C
Recommendation to fail.

I used MCF (a predecessor of RDF) in a product while working
at an OODB company, and I still couldn't understand the spec.
I finally figured it out, but it took an entire flight to
Chicago to do it. MCF was incompletly and inconsistantly 
documented, but I made it work, and it was quite useful.

But even after understanding it, I doubt that I'll be using it
in our products. It fails my basic architectural test (I think
this is from Rob Pike): simple things must be simple, hard things
must be possible, and you must be able to use part of it without
understanding all of it. It's too complex for the simple things, 
too hard to explain how it helps the hard things, and non-modular.

Walter R. Underwood
Senior Staff Engineer
Infoseek Software
GO Network, part of The Walt Disney Company
http://software.infoseek.com/cce/ (my product)

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