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   Re: [xml-dev] Don't Follow Us. We're Lost Too (Was: Byzantine schism)

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9/1/2002 5:49:17 AM, AndrewWatt2000@aol.com wrote:

>    I wonder if we can persuade the powers that be to replace "Leading to
>    the Web to its full potential" with "Don't follow us. We're Lost Too.".

Sigh, as much as it pains me to defend the W3C :-) everyone exploring
uncharted territory is "lost" most of the time.  For that matter,
Lewis and Clark "failed" in their objective to find a practical water
route across North America, and they were lost much of the time.  Did
they write back to Jefferson for guidance, or appoint an expert committee
to ponder the matter, every time they came to
a fork in a river and didn't know which branch would most efficiently
lead them Westward?  No, they either made their best guess or explored
a couple of the most promising alternatives before committing themselves.
And they got a lot of advice from "domain experts" such as
Sacajaweja who had no grand vision to confuse them about local reality.

Tim Bray put it very well yesterday: 

"The grand visions of the future come unexpected out of coders' 
basements and off power-lunch cocktail napkins.  All W3C 
can do is try to shake out a set of best common practices"

Does anyone really WANT TimBL to insist that every output of the W3C
match some grand unified vision? ) Sheesh, look at the agony the 
TAG is going through trying to reconcile URIs and RDF-ish/SW-ish 
notions of "identity," REST-ful notions of "resource oriented design",
and the Web as it really works. There ain't no maps and GPS systems to
guide people through this wilderness.  Posterity will honor those
who blunder through and survive as "visionaries" but we shouldn't
kid ourselves that anyone around now knows the True Path and just
isn't organized enough to explain it to the rest of us.  

And many who claim to be pointing out the True Path have invested
heavily in the real estate along their preferred route :-)


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