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> The success of .net will be that it has taken the
> VB model and applied it to the web. That is why
> it is productive.
That approach might be fine for "island of automation" desktop development,
but typically breaks down when faced with the realities of distributed
development. Microsoft would like you to think that ignoring Peter Deustch's
Fallacies of Distributed Computing is a viable development strategy. This one
fact alone might doom VB in a networked world.
As Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, remarked, "If
you don't know how things are connected, then often the cause of problems is
Do you know of any mission-critical, large systems that have been written
entirely in VB? Especially on the server side? Hmmmm...didn't think so.
As a corollary, there is no magic bullet/tool that will take inexperienced or
junior developers and make their output equivalent to an experienced person's
productivity. 4GL's could be viewed as an example of this.
As for which technologies matter, I concur with Tim Bray. His marginalization
of SGML might rub some the wrong way, but except for a very specific
problem domain, SGML hasn't had the impact nor will have the impact that
XML-based technologies seem to be engendering. That is not to say that
SGML is not a powerful/useful/interesting technology and that it was the
foundation that XML sprung from. It's all relative, and given the comparison
criteria Tim presented, XML comes out on top.
However, we never need to forget that we (as technologists), and technologies
themselves, all stand on the shoulders of giants. I started in computer
technology in the early 70's....and I still feel that much of my work has built on
what came before, both in the past and currently. I'm certain that the
technology world in 2020 will be standing on the shoulders of such "giants" as
Tim and others like him.
On another note, there was in interesting comment (and XML-Deviant
summary) regarding a processing model for XML. Though not quite the same
thing, the W3C's efforts on WCSL spring to mind as an intriguing attempt to
allow declarative specification of process flow and collaborative choreography
of web services invocations (similar to the BPSS specification of ebXML).
Maybe the work on WCSL can bootstrap the XML processing model needs?
Andrzej Jan Taramina
Chaeron Corporation: Enterprise System Solutions