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RE: SAX Filters for Namespace Processing
- From: Edd Dumbill <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: Tim Bray <email@example.com>
- Date: Sun, 05 Aug 2001 19:43:55 +0100
On 05 Aug 2001 10:52:35 -0700, Tim Bray wrote:
> At 06:23 PM 05/08/01 +0100, Edd Dumbill wrote:
> > A lot of the cruft
> >I've seen in recent times is due to lack of, if not academic, certainly
> >scholarly attention to prior art, experience and techniques. Perhaps
> >that's just the culture of the Web, where the naive approach rules.
> On the other hand, the Web would never happened had TimBL paid too
> much attention to the academic hypertext community's consensus and
> prior art. Not that the academics don't bring something to the
> table, and in general I'm in favor of more non-vendor input in the
> standards community: (not just academics, we need more big users
> and people like librarians).
> I think almost all of the cruft comes from lack of respect for
> the 80/20 principle on which the Web itself is based. -Tim
I'm much in agreement with the general 80/20 thing, but I don't think we
can keep appealing to TimBL's invention of the web all the time, as if
this highly singular happening is reliably repeatable.
In my opinion we need to look behind the label that he ignored common
practice and take another view at what he did, picking out design
principles like some of those espoused by Extreme Programming. The Web
seemed to be doing the simplest thing that would possibly work.
So while I bemoan those who are "following" TimBL by being ignorant
about existing work and research (I don't assert TimBL was ignorant,
maybe bright enough to know what he could throw away), I congratulate
those who follow minimalist design principles, which are not exclusive
with respecting and employing existing work.
I think we possibly agree.
PS. Also another reflection: while it was possible to spawn the web via
such mechanisms, is the continued development of the web plausible in
such a way? ie. now it is a widely deployed, it seems much harder as a
political process ever to get the 80/20 points we once had. so maybe
we're looking for some more benevolent one-offs driven by crazed
mavericks like Bosak, Bray, Clark & co...
I think I'll save the rest of this half-baked speculation for the bar in
Montreal next week...