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RE: On Modularity and the History of Markup
- From: Vane Lashua <Vane.Lashua@RSGSystems.com>
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Thu, 03 May 2001 18:56:46 -0400
"... to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural
Selection, entailing divergence of Character and the Extinction of
less-improved forms.... There is grandeur in this view of life, with its
several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into
one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed
law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and
most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." -- last paragraph of /On
the Origin of Species/, Charles Darwin, 1857
Endless forms will appear and disappear in the quest for the Perfect Markup
Language. To put this in perspectives, we harken back to the early
Pleistocene just after one of Charles Goldfarb's ancestors discovered fire.
Whilst Charles the Structural was working out the choreography for the Fire
Instruction Dance, a colleague independently developed its first application
and coded the instructions:
Dance until you get attention of others.
Yell "Hey! Burn down a forest and you can usually find a hot meal!"
Then just do it.
After you eat, dance with opposite sex.
It became very popular. Then v1.0 of the Fire Instruction Dance Language
(FIDL) was adopted and the process was formalized:
dance(self) and yell("Hey!...") until (drop or getAttention(others))
eat( burn( aForest ) until ( find(hotMeal) )
dance( oppositeSex | partner )
Though there have been minor innovations and many layers of abstraction,
both forms survive to this day. Only one significant variation has appeared
in thousands of generations; that would be Beer.
From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) [mailto:email@example.com]
Is it a common pattern or just that
we only do variations on what we know?
When SGML was beset by the minimal victory of HTML,
it was entrenched in modularity discussions, still waiting for
DSSSL and so on. It all collapsed to a one
size fits all language (aka, genCodes) then
began the relentless climb back up to complexity.
The pattern of events keeps repeating itself in a nicely
spiral as one would want it to.
What will be the next
Where have I heard that before?
Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h