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Modularity (was: Linkbases, Topic Maps,and RDF Knowledge Bases -- help me understand, please)

[Joe English:]
> For example, in XLink <URL:
> http://www.foo.com/doc.xml#bar > and <URL:
> http://www.foo.com/doc.xml#xpointer(id('bar')) 
> mean the same thing, but in RDF they're different.


I really wish that, on the Web and everywhere else,
addressing (e.g., URIs) were entirely functionally
distinct from the many applications of addressing
(e.g. XLink and RDF).  

We lay painful and expensive traps for ourselves
whenever we fail to take advantage of natural modular
distinctions, like the distinction between addressing,
on the one hand, and everything that uses addressing,
on the other.  

Modularity liberates evolution.  Modules can be
upgraded as needed, and, at any one time, there can be
more than one module that performs essentially the same
function.  Upgrading everything at once is basically
impossible, so the failure to modularize leads to long
periods of wasteful stagnation punctuated by
unbelievably expensive and awkward revolutions, each of
which is accompanied by all kinds of collateral damage,
waste, uncertainty and fear.  Ugh.  It's high time for
us to stop hurting ourselves this way.

If you don't see the rapid and smooth evolution of
efficient information management as a good and
necessary thing, dear reader, please ask yourself
whether you're really eager to delay progress in, say,
medicine, for example, while you yourself are growing


Steven R. Newcomb, Consultant

voice: +1 972 359 8160
fax:   +1 972 359 0270

405 Flagler Court
Allen, Texas 75013-2821 USA