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   RE: Various presentations

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  • From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>
  • To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>, XML-Dev Mailing list <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 10:22:37 -0500

I enjoyed these, Simon.  A few comments:

>Not always connected    If you're working on a laptop, and the application
you're working 
>with uses a validating parser... you may be waiting a while. Even if you're
>network failures (like the 30,000 other users who want to retrieve the DTD
you need) may 
>cause inefficiency and failure. "

Even without network failures, developers should consider:

1.  Occasionally connected systems may be the rule rather than the
Even with CDPD and spread spectrum, running offline then uploading
is a fit design where bandwidth remains constrained.  Creating usage
scenarios with 
the subject matter experts and current users is advised.  

2.  Design to also work *off* the Internet or WWW.  There are lots of
opportunities to 
apply markup and related technology without using these systems.

>'Best of Breed' returns    While vendors have tried to use tight
integration to bolster 
>weak products with stronger ones, using an open format for connecting parts
makes it 
>possible to ignore such marketing-driven connections in favor of approaches
that more 
>closely resemble "the right tool for the job." 

The best of breed approach looks better on paper than in an implementation.
is the single most expensive approach to medium to large scale systems both
the front end implementation and the lifecycle maintenance.  I'd like to say
isn't true, but after seeing just how weak a DTD or schema becomes if it is
to service both legacy and new requirements, the details can make it almost 

In effect, we end up breaking down the schemas into much smaller related 
sets and use system/process constraints to determine their affective scope. 
Best of breed is hard and expensive.  This is a real world empirical lesson 
that makes me doubt the long run efficacy of a global semantic web.  I am 
afraid a lot of resources will disappear down this black hole that could be 
better applied elsewhere, but like all black holes, it generates a lot 
of attractive energy.  Some don't see the peril until they are Over 
The Event Horizon and find out they are now the Wicked Witch of the East:  
crushed flat by the load, shoeless and with their competitor announcing
demise to happy dancing munchkins and a naive development community 
that now wears their shoes.

>More integration work    As customers realize that they aren't stuck with
>solutions any more, maybe even that single-vendor solutions are no longer a
>approach, smaller shops and development teams may get back the
opportunities that the 
>large software vendors have attempted to claim. 

This will vary enormously by complexity of application.   Caveat emptor.
What buyers will lose when they try this will be a lot of sleep in exchange
for a 
lot of responsibility both managerial and in implementation.   

Again, best of breed depends tremendously not 
just on shared vocabulary but shared semantics.  It is incredible how
the local politic is to the global definitions.   It comes down to the
arguments in a function and dang, if it isn't difficult to get that to
across more than a few local processes.  Standard object models help here 
but getting one of these is almost the same as taking all profit out of 
the product, so only the big guys can afford them, and that of course, 
nails the small vendors quickly.  Deep pockets help.

I say this gently but firmly: do not undersell the need to cooperate across 
the boundaries of viciously competitive information ecologies.  XML is 
powerless without tedious human contracting processes.  Of internet time 
downsides, the most dangerous one is its lack of tolerance for the 
tedious work required to sustain a successful process.

Len Bullard
Intergraph Public Safety

Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h

From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@simonstl.com]

I've just added the three presentations I gave in New York last week (1 at
the NY Object Developer's Group, 2 at XMLDevCon 2000) to my Web site.  Some
of them may be interesting/useful/hateful for members of this list.

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