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Many thanks for the excellent, thought-provoking messages!
As I read your comments it occurred to me that it may be useful to make this
Complicated: something is complicated if it is large, contains lots of
stuff, is tedious, redundant, annoying, or in some way undesirable.
Complex: something is complex if it is rich and full of variety and nuances.
Thus, by these definitions, complicated is bad and complex is good.
Let me provide some examples to demonstrate how these terms may be applied
With XML you can create instance documents with great complexity. Further,
the XML technology itself is very simple, i.e., it has minimal
Thus, the XML technology is capable of producing great complexity with
Another example is one that Bob Wyman mentioned - Cellular Automata. As Bob
mentioned, if you scan through Steven Wolfram's book you will see pictures
of great complexity. Yet, these pictures were generated by cellular
automata using simple rules.
Thus, the Cellular Automata technology is capable of producing great
complexity with minimal complicatedness.
Wolfram also asserts that all the incredible complexity we see in nature is
the result of iterating over simple rules.
Thus, nature is capable of producing great complexity with minimal
Now, using these terms, let me recast my original question: is it necessary
for the next-version of the XML technologies to introduce more
complicatedness to attain increased complexity?
If XML, Cellular Automata, and all of nature can produce tremendous
complexity with minimal complicatedness, then surely XSLT 2.0, XPath 2.0,
XML Schemas 2.0, etc should be able to increase their
complexity-generating-capability with decreased complicatedness. Yes?
Here are some other points that I would be interested in hearing your
- The objective of a technology as is progresses to its next version is to
increase its complexity-generating-capability. Do you agree?
- The mark of a good technology is that as it progresses to its next version
it will not only increase its complexity-generating-capability but it will
also decrease its complicatedness. Do you agree?
 I think that the distinction between complication and complexity is a
useful one. I welcome your suggestions on a better definition of the two
terms (or even different terms).