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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 10:26:28 AM, Alaric Snell <alaric@alaric-snell.com> wrote:

>I see a world of difference betwixt making everything match a grand unified 
>vision - and internal consistency.

Fair enough, but without a unified vision, internal consistency means "first out
with a spec wins".

>If a group comes up with a universal syntax for representing links, then 
>goddam every spec should use them unless it's got a good reason.

I don't claim to have followed the "Byzantine schim" thread very carefully,
but it would be hard for me to accept that the XHTML, etc. folks don't
have good reasons.  Reasonable people can disagree as to whether they
are compelling reasons, of course.

>But if groups build upon existing work, then you have a nice incremental 
>growth that feels around problems as they arise, rather than trying to plan 
>it all in advance.

OK, in my Lewis and Clark analogy, let's say the expedition finds itself in
a branch of a river that is looking more and more like a
a swamp.  Do they say "to go backwards would be to discredit those of
us who thought that this branch of the river led to the mountains, and
would waste the nice incremental progress we have made" ??? No, they would
say "oops, made a bad guess, let's move back and explore further before
we commit ourselves to a particular stream." 

I'm not sure whether XHTML or XLink have made the bad guess, 
but we definitely find ourselves in a swamp, and better 
scouting, not an attempt to preserve incremental progress.
is needed to find a direction forward.  It definitely
requires "feeling around problems as they arise" but it also 
requires one to acknowledge errors and turn back when necessary.

>Getting back on topic

Going further off-topic, somehow I'm reminded of the "vision" of
an inland sea in the middle of Australia that was powerful enough
for explorers to haul boats through the desert that would be needed
if they found it.  Somehow that seems like a metaphor for much
of what we do .... (And apoloogies to the
Australians in our midst if I have taken the humorous account of
this in IN A SUNBURNED COUNTRY as truth if in fact it is not). 


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