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   Re: [xml-dev] Does XML-Dev matter?

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3/19/2002 5:49:27 PM, Jonathan Robie <jonathan.robie@softwareag.com> wrote:

>How well has the consensus on XML-Dev predicted whether a technology 
>matters in the commercial market? Do we have enough data to do a 
>retrospective? What were the surprises that were more successful than we 
>had expected? What were the wonderful technologies that simply didn't succeed?

Interesting question.  I did sample one month of Simon St. Laurent's rantings
(in September, 1998) and compare them to the "judgements of history" three
years later.

It seems that 4 1/2 years ago,  Mr. St. Laurent was concerned about

- client-side XML support (e.g., in web browsers)
- what namespaces really are and how they will be used
- whether CSS or XSL is the best way to style an XML document
- whether RDF really added practical value that well-chosen tag names could not

ALL of these issues have become frequently asked and much-debated questions, and
no clear answer has emerged even today on any of them.

As much as I generally tend to agree with Simon, I don't thinks he's particularly
omniscient compared to the rest of the list members.  Nor do I think he was
just lucky that month.  Turning it around, I can't think of any XML issue that
was fiercely debated on the list that quietly went away because the technology
"just worked."   Maybe XSLT ... but I just got  back from a week
in the Real World, and they seem pretty overwhelmed by XSLT out there.

So, it would be interesting to examine the predictive power of this list at the
same time one examines the predictive power of the factors that Tim Bray noted
in his presentation. It will be hard ... how do you judge the "consensus" on a list
that has 1800 or so subscribers and 20-30 regular posters?  Does the majority
remain silent because they agree with people like Simon (or me)?  Or do they remain 
silent because they think we're idiots and they enjoy watching us make fools
of ourselves? <grin>  I dunno ...But I believe that anyone who ignores the
issues that get frequent mention here does so at their own peril.


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