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

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How about progress through making a component more reliable 
by avoiding the 'duct tape' approach?

Tim O'Reilly writes an article designed to promote open 
source paradigms but picks an awful metaphor because 
for anyone who actually does what he suggests, the lesson 
is expensive.


Only amateurs and desperate roadies duct tape mic cables.  

It leaves a sticky goo on the cable which makes it 
difficult to wrap and put in a case.  It is quite 
difficult to remove afterwards.  Because of 
that, the ever so delicate wires inside break 
down faster and one is out serious money over 
time, and it will fail at a bad time:  ten minutes 
before the show, or right in the middle of it. 
One sees that bad habit only where the budget has 
exaggerated cash flow.  For the majority 
of professional sound crews, rock bands, etc. that 
is seldom true.  (We use snakes or we use long 
runs that route around the walkways.)

What do we use duct tape for:  we duct tape  
something that is broken if there is not enough 
time to fix it correctly. 
It is excellent for holding broken technologies 
together until one can afford to replace them 
with new or better ones.  I don't think that is what he 
means to say in that article; however, it may 
be accidentally insightful given his discussion 
of the dynamic upkeep of Internet apps that 
break far too easily and often.  Perhaps the key to making 
money On The Web really is like 1950s auto manufacturing: 
make it cheap, make it quickly, make it delicate, sell 
the customer an extended warranty that only covers parts 
that won't fail, and charge a lot for the parts 
and services that do.

Low initial costs plus high maintenance fees:  sound 
like a good business model to emulate?  Caveat emptor. 
If your iPod has duct tape on it, it won't get you laid.



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