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

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At 12:42 AM +0200 6/11/04, Henrik Martensson wrote:

>What I am arguing is that:
>* it is not likely that anyone can foresee all possible variations
>   and build software flexible enough to handle them
>* even in those cases where it is possible, it is often not
>   cost efficient

I agree with your first point. It isn't possible or feasible to 
foresee all possible variations. However I'm not suggesting we do 
that. I'm suggesting that you deal with new variations as they arise 
rather than trying to anticipate them.  You don't need to process 
everything people might send you, just what they actually do send 
you. The first few weeks with such a system do involve a lot of time 
writing code to process one new format after another, but matters do 
stabilize to a manageable level fairly quickly.

When a new format is discovered after the initial burn-in period, it 
normally indicates a significant new addition of deletion of 
information, not just an arbitrary random change; and it's probably 
something that you want to think about. By preventing communicators 
from sending you new markup you are preventing them from adapting to 
significant changes in the domain. You are limiting what they are 
allowed to tell you, and thereby limiting what you can know.

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


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