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   Re: [xml-dev] The subsetting has begun

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At 03:34 PM 2/28/2003, Tim Bray wrote:
>>In a messaging model, the creator and receiver of a
>>document have the opportunity to negotiate prior
>>agreements such as schemata, use of binary serializations,
>>particular APIs, etc. in order to produce more efficient
>To the extent that you minimize the negotiation, you win.  This is true on 
>several levels.  First, to the extent that the data is self-documenting 
>and doesn't require callouts to schemas, format converters and so on, you 
>remove failure points.  Second, to the extent that you have to agree on 
>these things, it slows you down.  Very significant systems (for example, 
>more than one of the big general-purpose portals) have XML-mediated 
>systems where they sorted things out by emailing examples back and forth.

Yet there are other reasons one might like the messaging model (or the 
"contract" model as another way of looking at it). Walter has used the word 
"cartel", which however strong, bears thinking about (not just reacting 
to). The relative expense and lack of efficiency of systems relying on such 
an infrastructure (thus gaining efficiency at one level by sacrificing it 
at another) is okay, since it helps limit who can afford to play (and makes 
those who can more dependent on the infrastructure's maintainers).

Sometimes it seems that each side feels that they are saying we can all 
have our cake and eat it too, while the other is trying to take the cake 
away. What is elusive is the larger picture, the ongoing effects of 
introducing external dependencies however subtle, even while we are trying 
to extend the power and reliability of the tools and applications.


     "Thus I make my own use of the telegraph, without consulting
      the directors, like the sparrows, which I perceive use it
      extensively for a perch." -- Thoreau


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