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Right. The problems won't go away. That doesn't mean a repository
isn't worthwhile. Libraries are worthwhile. It just isn't
going to work as a way to eliminate the tower of babel any
more than a library gets rid of slang or argot and for similar
reasons: humans are relentlessly creative; situations are
All the time spent on SGML (and no doubt most standardization efforts
before it) taught us the value of transform languages and
the locality of definitions. CALS taught us that not even
the most stringent Secretaries of Poo could make it happen
by fiat. On the other hand, when humans want to cooperate,
libraries are a good place to start and XML provides for
tools to do it at the level of standardization that makes
the most of low hanging fruit: the lexical.
Just don't bet the farm on it. Semantic Webbers be wise
about this. It is rather easy to write N/A and NONE as
the values of URI'd thingies. Pointers to NULL won't
tell the machine much.
From: Joshua Allen [mailto:email@example.com]
That quote was from the article -- I was simply quoting it because it
summed up the hopelessly idealistic attitude that such problems could
ever be eliminated (and that by having a "repository").
So we agree