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And in completely open systems, it happens instantaneously.
A fully-open system is an oxymoron. A system is defined
by its boundaries. It is sustained by its ports. The
energy is highest (think profit) and the evolution potential
is highest in the overlaps with other systems (ecotones).
That is also where it is most unstable if the ecotone has
multiple owners (the recipe for chaos is an input/output
box with multiple uncoordinated controls).
What the effect of open blogging will
be on corporations that engage in it is an interesting
question. The difference in outcomes may be dramatic
even for companies that start with just a few differences
in the vital culture. The chooser of choices (high
level controls and filters) can make the difference.
(I only see Sun blogs through the lens of Tim Bray, etc.).
One really wants certain components to come from a small
group or ideally, one. There actually is a difference
between a standard component and a commodity because
while time and space may be the same thing, things in
time and space aren't.
A completely closed system exhausts energy as heat.
A well-designed system exhausts waste that it cannot
recycle. Between the completely closed system (there
aren't any) and the completely open system (there
aren't any) are degrees of design and lengths of
lifecycle. A well-designed system accomplishes a
mission and is then refreshed. There are aircraft
that have lived much longer than their designers
and builders because they were designed for upgrades.
And that is very important to anyone building a business
over a complex system design in an open box. XML is just
the latest in a series of markup technologies built over
simple concepts that accommodate complexity or simplicity
at different stages in the evolution of systems designed
to use them. XML can be simpler or more complex but the
core concepts have been stable since the 1960s. It is
the environment that has changed dramatically.
From: Rick Marshall [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
while we're talking entropy, don't forget the most important aspect of
it. in a closed system it increases over time. i think this is
overlooked too much. (the reason time is an arrow, not a bidrectional line).
this, put simply, means that all our designs will start to break down
over time unless we have a maintenance cycle. and in our maturing
industry, as you have observed re ibm, the companies that get this right
will be the winners. the technologies that get this right will be the
so as the entropy of xml increases where is the energy coming from to
maintain order in the process, or is it as some suspect, out of control?
will xml survive the fragmentation forces?