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   RE: [xml-dev] Competing Specifications - A Good or Bad Thing?

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  • To: XML Developers List <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Competing Specifications - A Good or Bad Thing?
  • From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>
  • Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 10:29:49 -0500

They push, we pull.  Life among the mammals... 

I thought the idea of the WSIO was specifically 
to profile the working bits.  If not, then why 
are they bothering?

Yanno, the scary bit is a bit higher.  When I 
first envisioned enterprise engineering (what 
we called service architectures in olden days), 
something about it was eerily familiar. 
The Tower of Babel is one myth, but more current 
is the Revenge of the Crimson Assurance from Monty 
Python's 'Meaning of Life'.  Just as the level of 
organization and thought reaches some level, the 
process of attaining that level spawns a chaotic 
reaction low in the system that cascades up and 
overcomes the top level.  Today we have communication 
systems that force cultures to collide, and just 
as we have attained that level of integrative thought, 
the forces of fundamentalist religion, the worst of 
the supercharged superstitious nut cases, are 
rising up.  In the US, it is the right wing 
ultra-fundamentalist Christians.  In the East, 
the Muslims.  On the web, it is the open source guys 
who believe that the point of all of this is 
to collapse Microsoft and any organization they 

Everywhere I look, the passions are rising.  I'm 
not sure modern science has a fighting chance against 
those until they are slaked.  It is as if as mammals, 
there is some enzyme we all share that gets invoked 
given some aggregate of signals from the environment, 
and we are helpless against it.  Sort of like WWI.


From: David Megginson [mailto:dmeggin@attglobal.net]

Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> I don't think so.   If this is a composable set of specifications,
> it is a matter of the programmer not paving their own roads to
> hell by putting together components that don't work.   So the
> WSIO profiles bear watching.

The community has to discover ways to use things together through trial and
error and then codify that experience for the benefit of others -- in my
non-statistically-verified experience, the probability that a profile
written in advance will be even slightly useful is in the single digits, so
I see little point wasting my time reading one.  A profile written in
advance of serious, real-world experience is about as useful as a
stockmarket prediction, a system for winning at slots, or CIA intelligence
reports about WMD.

Look, for example, at how the model 2 architecture evolved in J2EE after
people realised that println statements in servlets were a lousy way to
generate HTML and embedded code in JSPs was a lousy way to control program
flow--in fact, look at how J2EE itself evolved. Java was originally intended
for embedded devices, and then for interactive Web pages: I don't think that
anyone saw it crapping out in those areas and becoming the dominant
technology for server-side Web app development instead.  However, since the
Java language, JVM, and libraries are self-contained, well-designed building
blocks, they adapted easily to the new niche.

Ditto for XML.  Remember the promise of XML in the browser, with stylesheet
linking, client-side XSLT, XLink, XPointer, etc?  Like Java, XML ended up
moving to the other side of the firewall.  The XML that did go client side,
RSS, is not what any of us expected.

I don't disagree that the profiles are useful; however, I want them to be
like modern science, derived from experimentation and observation; what
we're getting in this profiles reminds me more of alchemy.


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