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   Re: [xml-dev] XML Technologies: Progress via Simplification or Complexif

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Roger L. Costello wrote:

>   ...
> But I keep thinking about the lessons I learned from my demo, and keep
> wondering if the 2.0 version of these XML technologies could have achieved
> the additional complexity by recognizing "the collection of components in
> 1.0 are wrong; they do not provide the desired complexity; let's scrap those
> components and find the right collection that's simple yet powerful".  
> Perhaps for some things progress must come about by adding more complexity.
> I don't know.  What do you think?  /Roger

I think that things always get complicated as you go along, so it 
behooves you to start as simple as possible, and work hard to keep the 
simplicity.  But "simple" is relative to tools, understanding, and the 
task at hand.  An Assembler is simpler than a compiler, but it is 
simpler to write most programs for the compiler than for the assembler 
(yes, I know, always exceptions).  And simpler yet to write for Pyton 
than for C.  But the Python interpreter is hard to understand the 
workings of in detail.  It's simple if you can just use it as is.

Honeywell once built a computer whose cpu was made entirely from NAND 
gates.  No one is doing that any more, as best I know.

Statistical mechanics made striking progress because it allowed you to 
replace huge numbers of atoms or molecules by a single point in phase 
space.  That was a conceptual simplification that required hundreds of 
years of progress in mathematical physics to make simple.

So simple is good, but what is seen as simple is going to vary.

Thomas B. Passin
Explorer's Guide to the Semantic Web (Manning Books)


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