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   RE: [xml-dev] Better is better

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I agree in general. ;-)

As I understand it, the web was designed as Paul said 
to solve only a few problems and not be the general 
purpose solution to either open integrated hypermedia 
systems, or to the problems of very large distributed 
computing systems.  Without a bounded context, 
one can't really tell if it is better than another 
solution scoped to solve problems in that context, 
Without some understanding of other contexts, 
one can't make comparisons.   Breezy requirements 
make for the magic phrases such as "worse is better" 
and centralization of authority can also lead 
to circularity.   It is the Golem problem. 

People making that "worse is better" statement 
usually are actually arguing for a smaller scope 
of work.   What may be the case is that "smaller 
contexts" are the key to replication through colonization. 
Boltzman Outs Ambition Everytime.  True of digital 
and human reproduction.  Don't advertise to 
your competitors your intent to obtain authority 
over their ecosystem resources.  Do it by taking 
a niche they don't monitor, then grabbing the 
neighboring niche by force, guile, or doing 
the job under budget and within schedule.  

That is how the web was won.

The web by opening up and sustaining global 
communications without regard to historical 
borders is better than systems which rely 
on centralized switching and routing.  But 
that is simply the Internet.  WASD.  And 
for that, better is better and it took 
years to get that right.  How many letters 
made it into the first ARPANet communication 
before the system crashed?  It was a newt, 
but it got better.  The web is the latest 
in the evolution of newts getting better.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Baker [mailto:distobj@acm.org]

> And one has to deal with the issue that miscommunication 
> is also useful and purposeful.  One problem of making 
> things "easy" with "worse is better" solutions such as 
> HTML and HTTP,

I cringe everytime I see "worse is better" referenced, especially when
it's applied to the Web.  The Web is better because it was designed to
be better.

"worse is better" is usually used by people who don't see the larger
context in which a system is designed, and don't understand all the
tradeoffs that were made.  So they pick on one or two pieces and say
"see, that's clearly worse because it could have been done so much
better this way", without recognizing that doing it that way would have
forced some unacceptable tradeoff to be made elsewhere.


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