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   Re: [xml-dev] The waterfall model lives? (was Re: [xml-dev] The subsetti

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Mike Champion wrote:

> Still, I don't agree with the argument that the XML 1.x  specification 
> is the fixed point around which the "XML world" (broadly defined) should 
> revolve.

Can I quote you on that? ;)

> What does surprise me is how reluctant the XML community is to apply the 
> techniques we've learned for building robust software to building robust 
> specifications.  Monoliths are fragile, but layered, modular 
> architectures are adaptable.  External realities change, and 
> requirements have to be able to change or they will be bypassed.  It 
> looks to me (from a distance) as though the J2ME people are doing the 
> Right Thing -- setting up tight feedback loops among requirements, 
> designs, and implementations and weighing the business value of each.  
> Sure they've tweaked the spec to fit their constraints, but to do 
> otherwise would be to set themselves up for failure, as so many software 
> projects following the "waterfall" approach have over the last few decades.

Some things, even in software do not move all that fast. And 
arguably, shipping software and specifying a uniform lexical format 
are very different problems. I think the point many would make is 
that this realpolitik subsetting does more harm than good, and 
indeed doesn't solve any problems, or even fix symptoms, least of 
all for those who are in a hurry. The phrase 'borrowing trouble' 
comes to mind.

> I'm afraid that I think that it's XML that needs to accomodate the 
> requirements of its "customers" by becoming more modular so that people 
> in Sun's situation here aren't faced with a stark choice between being 
> non- compliant with any spec, and bloating their code / making products 
> more expensive in order to comply with parts of a monolithic spec that 
> (apparently) add little business value.

Well maybe, but the very first thing to do there is determine a way 
to negotiate features between processors. Such rules of engagement 
move the future work of defining XML away from lexing and into 
protocol design. IMO, that's no bad thing, the equation "syntax + 
protcol = interop" works fine for me, but it is a very different 
thing to what has gone before.

Bill de hÓra


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