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This is especially for researchers, and a little bit for developers also.
Yesterday I attended a talk by Prof. Scott Shenker (UC, Berkeley). His
talk was more about how researchers work, and why researchers miss stuff
like Napster. I was thinking more like why they miss XML. I think it is
obvious that researchers had to miss them, because the idea of
standardization information exchange would have definitely not occurred to
them, but to me, what is more difficult to believe is how they missed the
concepts of data modeling similar to XML.
Prof. Shenker mentioned a point about the way researchers work: "The goal
of researchers is to prove to the world that they are smart". While I
think this is true for a large portion of the researchers, I believe that
there are quite a significant amount of researchers, whose aim is not to
prove they are smart.
Then we (couple of friends and myself) discussed about developers, I am
afraid that I find the same trend among developers too: "The goal of the
developers is to ensure that their company's approach gets accepted as a
standard". Again I believe that while this is true for a large number of
developers, there are a few developers who are open to adopt and change.
Again, should we blame the researchers and developers for being what they
are -- I again think not. Most of the researchers and developers who try
to do the "ideal" thing either do not get funding or get fired from their
companies. Those who still hold on to those ideal goals, and are able to
work on them are those who have been fortunate so far. So how do we go
about changing the whole system?? -- that is a big question, and I think
the answer almost always is that we should start making sacrifices and
risks -- that is we should change ourselves, and be ready to face
difficulties. I am quite sure this trend will be infectious.
Anyways, I believe that was pretty heavy stuff to digest. Also, often
times it is very difficult to practice what you preach also.
cheers and regards - murali.