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A sophomore historian sees "winners and losers". History
is never that simple. Nature is a business going
broke at very slow speeds.
SGML started as GenCoding, same as HTML. You designated a
winner in your thesis then looked for evidence to support
that. As for "designated winners" and
"making sure the other guy loses", there is a Bugs Bunny
and the Turtle race cartoon that illustrates the common
management approaches to control of competing systems
in which both sides disguise their true natures to win.
"Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.
Won't get fooled again."
Complex systems aren't simply about bottom up vs
top down. They are about controls that emerge when
opposing systems engage. Type definitions aren't always
centric. They become necessary because two systems
with local definitions engage. Without that engagement,
nothing but the "well-formed with a bit of code" solution
is fine. Markup came from a requirement by publishers
to exchange manuscripts with print houses. Type definitions
came about because they had to concisely and provably
share their agreements with others.
When you design, do you tag sprinkle existing documents
and derive a DTD from that, or do you design a DTD
and go looking for a document that it defines?
Or do you do both?
If limericks didn't exist, would you sit down
and write a type definition for one? If we
hadn't made mistakes, would the Cowan model
From: Mike Champion [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
1/13/2002 7:43:43 AM, Sean McGrath
> Nature figured this out long before we
> sentients did. Extreme programming/well-formed XML/
> procedural scripting is a good toolset to start
> with to mimic natures ability to grow complex order
> out of large assemblies of simple interactions. In nature,
> powerful functionality emerges from the bottom up.
> The queen in the ant hill is not a monarch. There is no
> "top down management" and the functionality
> did not emerge from a top down design.
Anyway, I'm trying to sort out in my mind a "thesis" that
goes something like this:
XML was conceived as "SGML for the Web," combining aspects of
both its SGML heritage and its Web heritage. SGML puts the
Document Type Definition at the center of an application;
design begins with a document analysis, proceeds through a
detailed DTD design, and ends up with application components
that are highly designed and coordinated by the "authority"
of the DTD. In other words, the DTD is sortof the "queen
ant" (in the old-fashioned sense) whose authority keeps it
all together. XML's formal development within the W3C has
tended in this vein, though of course a typed XML schema and
PSVI is the "queen" of a state of the art XML application.