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   Re: [xml-dev] XML CMM and ISO9000 compliance? - was A standard approach

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From: "pop3" <lbradshaw@dbex.com>
> I strongly and emphatically disagree with your assertion that " There is
> such thing as a "rigorous scientific proof"..."

Why am I not surprised? ;-}

> I cite physics as a prime example. Various proofs, including proofs of the
> theory of relativity and the speed of light, for instance.

Sorry, the theory of relativity is not proven. It is only a theory that
agrees with some empirical evidence and is consistent with a framework of
other theories. Believe me, a real physicist would like nothing better than
to shoot down relativity. The search for counter-examples and/or conditions
under which relativity might not hold sway is ongoing.

I'm not sure what about the speed of light you think is proven.

You confuse physics with mathematics.

> In this context (XML, RDBMS) I will state the specifics as:
> - a test bench or test bed of consisting of computer(s) running Windows or
> Unix.
> - an XML parser (approved by or compliant with W3C specs).
> -  a dbms such as Oracle
> - an application specification and requirements
> - a definition of terms including best practice, best system, cost
> essential items, desirable items, and specific yardsticks or measurement
> areas, prediction in advance of measurement results for all areas,
> measurement areas to include technical (performance, reliability,
> usability, complexity) and non technical areas such as costing, ease of
> use, ease of interface to other non technical systems by non technical
> people (ad hoc integration).
> - applications that satisfy that specification and requirements written
>     1) solely in XML (HM)
>     2) solely in dbms (RM)
>     3) as a combination of XML and dbms technology (HM mapped to RM and
> Tests or proofs would consist of:
> - initial cost factors for 1, 2, and 3 above
> - support and maintenance cost factors for 1, 2, and 3 above.
> - performance test results per the specifications and requirements

Blah. You think you can string a bunch of vague, ungrounded buzzwords
together and use them to prove something? What is a measure of "best
practice". What the heck can "best system" even mean?

Now you're confusing sociology with physics.

> Applications I suggest would be good to test are:
> a) company phone book for company with six offices in four locations
> boundaries such as states or zip codes or phone area codes.
> b) contact system similar to various commercial systems like ACT
> c) multimedia system, such as movies and soundtracks and musical scores to
> plays and operas, and text of those movies, screenplays, operas, and
> reviews of these in a searchable format (where was this line used... )
> d) financial data such as a corporate book of accounts
> e) document data such as newspaper text
> f) mixed media historical data such as all 20/20, news casts, newspapers,
> movie news reels, Nightline and BBC world news shows.

These are good use cases, all right. So far, though, no science.

> When people say no system is like their system, they just have not seen
> enough systems. I respectfully submit that endeavours towards these proofs
> will be highly valuable to the advancement of the science in XML as well
> in DBMS work yet to come. Theory is fine. Practice is harder. Generating
> standard test cases, for systems such as the above, will be well worth the
> effort as it brings us together to solve problems in a coherent and
> systematic way, with open source offered to any and all who wish to
> participate or contribute.
> Without doing a standard set of proofs, I just do not see how the
> discussion can advance effectively. Of course people get frustrated, of
> course people get emotional, of course people are talking at cross
> most of the time !!!
> But it does not have to be that way. Let's get a set of proofs, such as
> above, underway world-wide, right now.
> If we are all on the same page, we can speak much more effectively and
> address the real issues much more directly than is usually the case today.
> Just an idea.

We are not all going to get on the same page if it involves searching for
"proofs" that don't exist.

I have nothing against empiricism, but it is hard to put a yardstick on

Bob Foster


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