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   Re: [xml-dev] Don't Let Architecture Astronauts Scare You

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9/16/2002 12:08:37 PM, Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com> wrote:

>There's other stuff, but for my money these are the three reasons why 
>XML suddenly got traction where a lot of other well-designed stuff 
>didn't.  None of them are absolutes, but put together they hit an 
>important sweet spot. -Tim

I think that's a good list.  It reminds me of how URLs, HTTP, and HTML
-- three relatively uninteresting designs on their own, but with
great "emergent properties" together -- formed the foundation for the Web.
Likewise, the Extreme Programming people remind us that by the time
"well-designed stuff" can be completed, the requirements have probably

Joel Sapolsky's rhetorical excesses aside, I think his point needs
to be carefully considered.  The architecture of products we use
year in/year out tend to evolve from the experiments of individual
craftpeople rather than being handed down by the Intelligent Designer.
"Architecture" can be the art and science of figuring out the 
enduring principles of things that actually work, rather than
building abstractions that can live only in the rarefied air of
pure thought.


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