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   Re: RE: [xml-dev] XML Technologies: Progress via Simplification or Co mp

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On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 09:08:50 -0500, Bullard, Claude L (Len)
<len.bullard@intergraph.com> wrote:
> 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.
> http://tim.oreilly.com/opensource/paradigmshift_0504.html
> Only amateurs and desperate roadies duct tape mic cables.

I think you're reading too much into the duct tape metaphor.

On the one hand, there's a vision of an precision engineered system
where everything is well-designed up front, full of smooth polished
chrome and nary a stray line or unasthetically curved surface.  It's a
vision of the future we had since at least the 1950s.

Then there's the hard reality, where things never work as flawlessly as
originally designed.  This is the where the "duct tape" is visible, and
hacking is necessary to make things run in the real world.

Then there's the mix of the two approaches.  In the real world, you
cannot avoid all of the chaos.  So instead of ignoring it and dealing
with it at the last minute, you can support chaotic behavior by
installing raised floors and running all of the cable out of sight.

Perl, and the metaphor of the "duct tape of the internet" isn't about
amateurish use of immature technology.  It's about accepting that shiny
gleaming COM/CORBA/SOAP/whatever components never work as flawlessly as
originally designed, and more often than not, someone needs to hack on a
system to make it work in the real world.  



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