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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> From: Derek Denny-Brown [mailto:email@example.com]
> >Given the amount of time I spend explaining 'simple' Namespace,
> >XSD, DTD, etc.. issues to people, I would fall heavily on the 'not
> >side of the issue.
> XML is easy. XML + the dozens of application languages that make up
> an XML system are hard. If one does simple things with XML, one still
XML is easy, so long as using XML means picking your XML tools/libraries
off the shelf and using them. The problem I run into is that so many
people (here) have the NIH syndrome, and would rather write their own
XML library than use an existing one.
> >Convincing your average developer that standards
> >conformance is like pulling teeth.
> Too low a level. You are herding cats. The sensitive spot
> in the system is the chain from RFP to Contract. This is where
> systems are cited. The weakness in that chain as evidenced by
> the RDDL and Negotiation threads is there is no credible source
> that can be cited for reliable systems meeting criteria such
> as you begin to describe (well-formed). That is why firms
> such as Microsoft DO achieve lock-in and why I say that some
> of the W3C and other XML leaders cannot fathom this, but in
> fact, use tactics that make that lock-in inevitable. Unless
> the RFP and contracts personnel can cite by formal identifier,
> solid standards (not specifications for systems development),
> fairly mindlessly, the result is that they cite vendor-specific
> systems which they are certain meets these requirements. It is
> an issue of who does what kind of work and what level of understanding
> is needed to efficiently do that work. Proposal writers and
> contracts specialists, as you say, aren't XML-Devers. (that
> is why I have a job...).
You come from the Mil/Gov Contract world, where everything is tightly
spec'd and conformance to spec is often more important than
performance/ship-date. In the consumer product world, the norm is the
exact reverse. When I switched worlds it was quite a shock to see how
common practice really is incredibly different.
Talking/Working with developers and their leads is the only level of
contact I have. (Next time Bill Gates asks me over for lunch I'll talk
to him about it... <g>) My angle is to work the grass-roots side of
things, since I can get a fellow developer to listen to my arguments
much more easily than I can his manager's manager.
Lock-in is inevitable, no matter what you do. If you want to use the
latest technology, or squeeze the best performance out of an
application, you _need_ to use tailored integration. In the real world
does not provide any other solution. Look at databases. Databases
standardized on SQL. Does that mean I can move my payroll app from
Oracle to DB2 in a weekend? Not even close. The key to XML is not it's
ability to avoid lock-in. It is it's ability to facilitate interop, and
loosely coupled systems. Once these systems are all put together, you
still need tailored pieces to swap in and out of the puzzle, but you
_can_ swap them in an out.