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   RE: [xml-dev] The triples datamodel -- was Re: [xml-dev] Semantic

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For many applications, the axes of rendering and behavioral 
fidelity are the exact reason for the application failing in 
the market or spiraling as, Alaric says, toward a single 
vendor solution.  We've seen that in the web browser, we've 
seen that in Flash, we've seen that in VRML.  X3D is being 
crafted with that problem in mind.  XSLT doesn't fix implementation 
issues in the browser in the least.  That is the reason 
for conformance testing.

As to the triples datamodel and automated negotiation among 
agents, that problem is solvable although the cost of the 
solution is quite high as the AI researchers doing expert 
systems work can tell you.  The scalability of the language 
or implementation is irrelevant to that cost.  Also, the 
acceptability of outcomes of negotiation to the human owners of  
agents is the grinder.  As the AI veterans told us, rationality 
is a weak predictor of human behavior, and in any set of 
processes pipelined, hierarchical, or some combination, the fact 
that the system itself is a source of human bias vastly complicates the 
prediction of the outcome and raises the costs.  For some 
recent thoughts on that


We are still a long way from believing in the deity of 
Colossus: The Forbin Project.


From: Elliotte Rusty Harold [mailto:elharo@metalab.unc.edu]

At 1:36 AM +0100 6/8/04, Alaric B Snell wrote:

>...a web browser that gets deployed on millions of random machines 
>all over the place, then instead you get developers having to test 
>their HTML against a list of major browsers, and being wary about 
>including things like MathML, SVG, Java, Flash, etc. in their sites. 
>It appears that "in the large", these kinds of systems tend to end 
>up constraining the producers of content to a schema ("works in IE") 

Again, this is based on the same fundamental fallacy that everyone 
must do the same thing with the same data. The reason we get into 
these test everywhere problems is because web designers are trying to 
make sure that everyone sees something pretty close to exactly the 
same thing.

Provide well-formed content in XML (not Flash or Java, please) and 
offer one or more stylesheets that suggest a possible presentation; 
and you're good to go. That's the first step in the XML vision. It 
enables readers to read content in a straight-forward fashion, while 
still customizing their experience. It also allows the information to 
be repurposed for tasks go beyond mere browsing, without extra effort 
form the publisher.

   Elliotte Rusty Harold
   Effective XML (Addison-Wesley, 2003)

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