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XML is SGML as practiced. XML stands where
it stands because those standing there before
it understood their problems. That is simply fact.
No one's feelings are hurt by that. Some may want
more credit than can be had from simple facts,
but that is the politic of envy and insecurity.
If their feelings are hurt by being denied this,
then they have to deal with that.
VB is a very successful programming language,
probably the most successful one to date for
all of the reasons Tim cited originally.
Apply it to the wrong domain and it will fail
just as applying XML to the wrong domain will
fail. So will SGML, Java, C++ or an English
wrench on a metric bolt. SGML will succeed
in more situations but takes considerably
more knowledge to apply. XML is the slow-runner
approach and that is a viable approach for
mass marketed technologies.
My prediction is that MS-centric systems will
work with .net and VB quite well. For some,
that is all that will matter. For those to
whom that doesn't matter, work will be more
complicated. Because of C#, there are other
options. Because of the framework offered,
those options are numerous. I think .net will
succeed and thrive.
As for XML's "giant" status, one can never be
great who cannot acknowledge the greatness
of others to whom one owes so much. If being
"great" matters, be fastidious about this.
If being ubiquitous matters, one only needs
a sharp sword, a strong arm, a convenient
memory, and obsequious scribes.
Then guards on the temple hieroglyphs for
all things pass.
From: Andrzej Jan Taramina [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> 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.