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   XML-based Automation (Was: Zen or Games?)

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In a message dated 26/06/2003 15:24:50 GMT Daylight Time, simonstl@simonstl.com writes:

But seriously, I think we're racing down the wrong path toward
maximizing automation rather than complementing human capabilities with
a lot of the XML work being done today.


One of the driving forces for increased automation, XML-based or otherwise, is the drive to cut costs.

Think of the "marvellous" automated telephone systems which plague modern life. They allow customer "support" at greatly reduced monetary cost for the company which provides "support" but at the cost of greatly increased time and frustration for the customer. The customer is receiving "support" which is much cheaper. And it shows!

[Apologies if this sets Linda off again! <grin/> It seems as if we share a pet hate there. :) ]

I fear that the value of many XML-based automated services will be problematic. Why? Because as the interconnectedness increases the likelihood of unanticipated circumstances increases too. An XML-based Web service is great, potentially, at automating a useful service and performing consistently time after time. But I expect it to be equally consistent at providing undesired responses when circumstances conflict with the expectations of the designer.

Connection to a human being who has the capacity to think, and who is given by the "system" autonomy to think will be a premium service in future customer support. The plebs will receive XML-based service. :)

Andrew Watt


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