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Re: Open Source XML Editor

"Bullard, Claude L (Len)" wrote:

> It is like rock:  from three-chord blues to jazz every generation,
> then a collapse of unsustainable complexity back to unendurable
> simplicity.

Hang on, isn't that what I've been saying?

> Heavens, I am not suggesting everyone learn everything.  That is what
> the collapse is about.  But not having an overview of the automation
> of the enterprise also has penalties;  noise at the interfaces.  No,
> I've said this again and again here:  de-centralize.

But when I said:

> It's easy to be dismissive of tech writers, but consider the changes that
> they've already been subjected to. In the span of a single career some
> writers have gone from typewriters to writing galleys on computer, to
> learning word processors to learning SGML/XML, and now we bemoan the
> fact that they won't hurl themselves head first into more technology?
> All this on top of the fact that their fundamental purpose is to act
> as a subject matter expert.
you replied:

> My career spans that period.  I had to stand behind the mule and push.
Maybe our definitions of mule-pushing are different (and I readily accept that
may be the case), but to me that sounds as though you advocated prompting
people to widen their scope of responsibility. You also mentioned that the
chasm between writing and technology isn't that wide - neither of these sound
like decentralisation.

> Mules don't care.  That is what makes them mules:  don't bet on rationality.

Nice haiku, but I'm wary of reading too much meaning into it mule analogies
this time...

> You are betting on rationality.  That would be nice if possibly boring.

I would accept that as an epitaph.

> I am betting on competition and self-interest.  Self-interest
> is a steerable engine.  Shape it toward enlightened self-interest such
> that the individuals understand the requirements of the whole picture.

I don't read decentralisation in this either. Either I'm not getting something
here, or you're having a bet each way.

> I don't think elites always make the right decisions;  I concede there
> is a natural tendancy for organizations to evolve toward them.  The middle
> ground is to ensure the system for choosing the means to choose the means
> is a layered communication system, not so tightly defined that it can't
> evolve, but not so loose that evolution is by catastrophic emergence.

I don't doubt that you are able to relate this to a particular organisation or
circumstance that you have in mind, but for the life of me I can't draw a line
between this and an operating methodology. If this can't be standardised - that
is, if I have to be able to think like you - then the middle ground solution
relies on elites too.

I feel as though I'm swimming in quicksand.


Marcus Carr                      email:  mrc@allette.com.au
Allette Systems (Australia)      www:    http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
       - Einstein