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Re: Who knows? (was RE:??? (was RE: A Simple Guy ...))

-----Original Message-----
From: Kimbro Staken [mailto:kstaken@dbxmlgroup.com]
>> A perfect elegant masterpiece of academic
>> ingenuity that solves everybody's problems and insures interoperability
>> at any possible level is in actuality not perfect at all if it isn't
>> widely implemented AND deployed in the real world.

Len Bullard replied:
> "Once around the wheelhouse, twice
> around the wheelhouse. Then he
> saw that big 'berg and said, 'I'm
> gonna move you...'"
> Choose the captain and the route wisely.

That's the crux of the problem here.  As David Megginson said yesterday, the
best project managers are 90% right about predictions a month in advance ...
which means that they're about 50% right about predictions six months in
advance ... which means that even the wisest captains don't have a clue how
to "wisely" choose a route for a journey that will take more than a year.

Internet techologies are in the Age of Discovery, not the Age of
Enlightenment. Send out many different explorers, using different types of
ships, navigation methods, means of keeping the crew healthy, etc.  Learn
from those who make it back, and forget those who don't.  The Learned Ones
may produce "elegant masterpieces of academic ingenuity" that assert there
is a Northwest Passage from Europe to Asia and that bloodletting cures
scurvy, but pay more attention to the tales of the survivors.

Standards for Navigation are clearly a "good thing", but should codify the
experience of the explorers, not the theories of the Learned Ones.  XML 1.0
codifies the experiences of the SGML survivors, XSLT codified the experience
of the DSSSL survivors. Some of the later XML specs sound more like academic
treatises on "phlebotomy" [1] than survivor's tales.

1. http://www.mtn.org/quack/devices/phlebo.htm
"Phlebotomy: The Ancient Art of Bloodletting
The practice of bloodletting seemed logical when the foundation of all
medical treatment was based on the four body humors: blood, phlegm, yellow
bile, and black bile. Health was thought to be restored by purging,
starving, vomiting or bloodletting."