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RE: [xml-dev] Adam Bosworth on XML and W3C

Complexity is view dependant:  in the eye of the beholder. 
That is why scale is an issue.  At fifty feet, a ball of twine 
is a point.  At five feet, it is a rough sphere.  At one inch, 
it is a curved cylinder.  At 1/100 of an inch, turned on end, 
it is a rough filled circle.  Unwound and on end, at five feet, 
it is a point.  And so on. 

Sometimes one sees complexity and chaos theory referred to as 
"non linear foolishness".  It isn't exactly, but one does have 
to know how to apply it.  Bosworth isn't all wrong but not all 
right either.  

In some points of view and for some tasks, XML Schema 
will work just fine.  For others, limited results.  Complexity 
is not the issue except insofar as a predictor of costs for results. 
DTDs worked but we wanted the costs of dual syntaxes removed.  When 
we did that, readability went down.  So we traded-in features and 
pushed complexity elsewhere.  Did we get an overall reduction in costs 
for the advantages of well-formed systems?  Yes, I think so but 
we decreased the overall predictability of using the system and 
pushed the choice of choosing among constraint enforcement 
elsewhere (SGML - choice is in the standard.  XML - choice 
is the system owner or implementor's).  

Point of view, scale, choice of choices... all the problems 
of systems engineering writ big because they intesect with 
choices of authority.


-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Bradford [mailto:bradford@dbxmlgroup.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2001 1:39 PM
To: Fuchs, Matthew
Cc: Bullard, Claude L (Len); xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Adam Bosworth on XML and W3C

"Fuchs, Matthew" wrote:
> I think both are relevant - schema is consumed by both carbon and silicon
> agents.  For two markup related examples - ambiguous content models and
> Murata Makoto's work with hedge automata.  There seems to be a human
> (carbon-based agent) predilection for ambiguous content models because
> can be easier to write, but they can cause problems for the behavior of
> programs (silicon-based agents).  Likewise, Makoto's work is very elegant,
> and implementation may not be so hard (low Kolmogorov complexity), but
> are cases requiring exponential processing time, which is why I was
> using them directly in Schema (when I heard "exponential" I thought
> "denial-of-service attack").
> It would be awesome if there were some way to relate the formal complexity
> measures with psychological complexity.  Do you know of any sources?

Uhhh... Again in English, please?  Thanks.