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Yes it would but perhaps not as we know it.
That's Monday night quarterbacking. But we
already knew how to genCode and Unix pathnames
existed before anyone called them names. Running
code that resolved the stuff behind http://
made the difference, you are right.
Hypertext systems have a long long history.
I was rather glad to see Dr. Charles Goldfarb
on TechTV ScreenSavers two nights ago, happy
to see Yuri arrange an award for Engelbart
a year or so after I castigated the SGML
conference attendees for ignoring Doug. We
are beholden to history and we should respect
it. Then move on. An unlimited view of hypertext
is not the same as a realistic one. I think
TimBL has a realistic view until I see
quotations like that. If that is from Tim,
he really should get out more.
The history of the Web is a corrupt history not
because those who made it tried to corrupt it,
but because they didn't seem to care as long as
their system won. They could always clean up
later. Sometimes, later is too late. That is
exactly why we are debating REST. Do you think
we should simply let the W3C web service specifications
go forward without a debate on it being a too
limited view or too broad?
Of course you don't. And we haven't. You are
winning a lot of converts out here, but the code
is on the loading docks and it is not as Leigh's
article suggests, that we are content to let it
fall apart later, but that just as we in the SGML
industry had to face up to the reality of HTML
ubiquity, we may not have a choice. It is the
same problem in both cases: a limited system
with an unlimited vision. Hubris.
Hubris isn't a sin. It's a mistake. We
can learn from mistakes. Sin, we just try
not to get caught at. :-)
From: Paul Prescod [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
I can't see how the computing landscape would be better if Tim
Berners-Lee had taken a more limited view of what hypertext is. The Web
as we know it would not exist.
Hubris may be a sin but it is also necessary to build the most general
and powerful systems.