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   Re: XML: "turning into the modern-day Tower of Babel"

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  • From: Len Bullard <cbullard@hiwaay.net>
  • To: KenNorth <KenNorth@email.msn.com>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 05:32:20 -0500

KenNorth wrote:
> "As a result, XML, which many people viewed as the complete solution for
> data interchange, is turning into the modern-day Tower of Babel."
> The article goes on to discuss transformations and data staging.

There is a case to be made that as a lot of new hands rushed into
the markup industry during the first flush of the XML coup d'etat, 
they picked up a lot of notions, some of which we have all seen 
before during the CALS era in which monolithic DTDs with enormous 
political firepower were advanced.  We learned then after much 
gnashing, that like desiging a relational db with thousands of 
columns for one table just isn't the right way to go about it.
Doing transforms in and out of the smaller tables among different 
systems is just one more task.  Wall to wall enterprise vendors 
have a substantial advantage.  Services are the money maker.

<rant>The Tower Of Babel was God's solution to the problem of one idiot 
despot who wanted all of his subjects to approach heaven with him 
as their only intermediary.  A wise God enables choice at every level 
and lets those who should fail, fail spectacularly.</rant>

The languages act like ecologies.  XML enables overlaps.  The overlaps 
(ecotones) are the dominant area of rapid evolution and emergence.

Easy stuff really.  They would do themselves some good by rereading 
B.F. Skinner.  Shaping behaviors and shaping ecologies is pretty 
much the same task.  XML lets us scale that task appropriately.


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