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RE: XML.COM: How I Learned to Love daBomb

Sometimes market does not come from code. 
Code often comes to market.  We are very used 
to being automated, but it hasn't been that 
long that when one went to sell a database, 
they handed back a stack of paper and said 
"do these."  In the business I work for there 
is still a lot of that.  The problem here is 
staying away from one-off custom development.  
Find two court systems in two states that 
handle the same data and know it.  It makes things like 
LegalXML a challenge because as good a design 
and as simple as it is, there aren't as many 
takers.  When that aha emerges in the market,  
code drives market.  Neither way is right; both are  
possible and prevalent.

It was probably that short period of calling 
it SGML On the Web.  When I first saw SGML, 
I saw objects, then I looked closer and 
saw Runoff, and even closer, I saw structs.  Every time 
I peeled back a layer of my ambition, I saw less. 
Then I started back across the bridge and saw a 
world of interoperating apps passing documents 
based on common types.  But that was 1986 and 
it wasn't a very common ambition.  They told 
me it was magic and I needed to get back 
to work on printing manuals.

What do They know?  ;-)

When writing specs or standards, stay as simple 
as you can.  That is best.  When implementing dreams, 
go your own way and patent as much as you can. 
In both cases, don't think the region beyond 
URLs is the edge of the world and that you
will fall off if you sail too far.   The 
Rainbow Bridge goes from a frosty dream to Asgard. 
See if your town still has a library.  They 
have these neat things called "books" there. 
Like an old horn, they are hard to master but 
wonderfully deep and resonant if you blow soft 
and slowly.


Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Winer [mailto:dave@userland.com]


I agree. There's an art to building networked apps. First we start off with
Hello World, then blogger.newPost, and all kinds of things to get the first
layer of wires running. Also custom one-off or private apps, of which there
are probably thousands by now.

Then, we get commercial products who differentiate themselves by having dual
power of being accessible through an easy user interface (Blogger is a good
example) and add programmability in some well-conceived, scalable, and
clonable way.

Then all of a sudden you have a market.

At that point experience becomes an important factor. Do you know how to
design and document this stuff, and help build a community so people feel
safe investing and do you have something that you can make money with so you
can hire people to market, explain, write sample code, do quality assurance,
answer the phones, and whatever else a company can do to support the market.

That's why I've been thinking a lot about platforms lately. I don't think
Sun or Microsoft has the guts to really lead this. So I see a bit of an
opportunity now. Having been around the block once on the Mac, with
virtually all the apps wiring up over a period of five years, I think I have
an idea of how this could work, and what things to avoid.

BTW, it's interesting that when you look at XML you see SGML, but when I
look at it I see AppleScript and Frontier.