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   Re: ubiquitous XML?

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  • From: Jonathan Borden <jborden@mediaone.net>
  • To: Chris Lovett <clovett@microsoft.com>,"'Simon St.Laurent'" <simonstl@simonstl.com>,XML-Dev Mailing list <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2000 10:25:03 -0500

Chris Lovett wrote:

> The funny thing is that all the problems you list are all the classic
> problems we run into on large software projects where we break down the
> problem into components or "modules".  With the added extensibility of
> componentization comes the cost of complexity and poor integration across
> project boundaries.  I think the feds should split up this w3c juggernaut
> before it completely stifles the future of XML :-)  Sorry couldn't resist.
> How do you overcome poor integration and overwhelming complexity?  You get
> the man at the top to pound out the "simplicity, simplicity, simplicity"
> drum beat.

Are you arguing that implementing an object oriented design is associated
with poor integration and added complexity? Perhaps this was the lesson of
the 1990s when large scale projects such as Microsoft's Cairo and IBM's SOM
failed to come to fruition. I'm afraid the lesson I learned from that was
grass roots small scale bottom up designs scale better than huge budget top
down directives. Sorry couldn't resist.

> Some things may just need to get a trim around the edges, for example,
> it may be time to trim DTD's out all together.  Some things that prove to
> way off track may need to get axed or completely redesigned.  A
> strategy is essential otherwise the burden of carrying all the dead wood
> will bury us.  Dead wood really does stifle innovation.

    The problem with suggesting this is that increasingly instead of
developing a pyramid with a solid yet broad foundation upon which are
layered simple but increasingly high level specifications. We have as a
foundation a pinnacle of simplicity (XML 1.0) upon which we are layering
increasingly complex layers. This is fine as long as we are acutely aware
that removing a single toothpick from the XML 1.0 base has the risk of
toppling the entire infrastructure. That is, once we have managed to balance
an upside down pyramid: Don't touch the foundation!!!

    XML promised me that my data wouldn't become obsolete. Break that
promise in the name of 'innovation' and we can innovate XML right out of

Jonathan Borden
The Open Healthcare Group


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