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   Re: [xml-dev] The XML 500 word Challenge

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> In a message dated 26/10/2002 23:11:25 GMT Standard Time, mc@xegesis.org 
> writes:
> > I tried such a thing early this year in response to a (similar?) challenge
> > to product a "No Silver Bullet Manifesto."  See 
> > http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/200201/msg00965.html
> Mike,
> Let's, for purposes of illustration, take the first couple of lines of your 
> second paragraph.
> "At the most basic level, XML is simply a standardized syntax, or 
> metalanguage for builging languages, for describing labelled trees."
> Leaving aside the possibility that some bright spark may choke on your 
> neologism of "builging" :) ... Well, if they don't understand a 
> "metalanguage" (likely for many) then they may well think a builging language 
> is some abstract concept named after Samuel Builging. :)

Pointing out this typo was not worth an entire paragraph.

> I would suggest that many Web developers would choke (terminally?) on the 
> term "labelled tree". A (caricature) response might go like this: "What the 
> !*"!)? is a labelled tree? I remember seeing a tree with yellow ribbons on it 
> in that old film but labels? What's this guy talking about? Is he a computer 
> whiz kid or the curator of an arboretum?"

OK.  Call me a snob, but I have no truck with the idea of a Web developer who 
cannot comprehend a "labelled tree".  People, including me, have long 
complained about the decline in the quality of software development.  Any Web 
developer likely to be in a position to consider XML (i.e. is not just a 
graphic artist or copy writer, but designs technology to be deployed to the 
server) had better understand the most basic principles of information 
management.  If not, the answer, as far as I'm concerned, is not to try 
telling them everything in kindergarten terms, but rather to find their boss 
and tell them they have hired a liability.  Believe me, they will cause far 
more damage in their work than anyone can help, regardless of how things are 
explained to them.

Every profession has standards.  Web developers should be no exception.

Uche Ogbuji                                    Fourthought, Inc.
http://uche.ogbuji.net    http://4Suite.org    http://fourthought.com
Python&XML column: 2. Introducing PyXML - http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/09/25/p
The Past, Present and Future of Web Services 1 - http://www.webservices.org/ind
The Past, Present and Future of Web Services 2 - 'http://www.webservices.org/in
Serenity through markup - http://adtmag.com/article.asp?id=6807
Tip: Using generators for XML processing - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerwork


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