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

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/ "Roger L. Costello" <costello@mitre.org> was heard to say:
| Approach 1 - Progress via Simplification

This is standardization. Standardization simplifies an existing
technology by blunting some of the sharper edges and knocking off some
of the larger burrs. No new problems are solved by standardization.

XML 1.0 was achieved by standardizing SGML.

| Approach 2 - Progress via Complexification

This is design by committee. Design by committee increases the
complexity of whatever technology it starts with (be it a new idea or
V.next of an old idea) because it struggles to solve new problems in
ways that achieve the process goal of "consensus".

XPath 2.0 is being achieved by extending XPath 1.0 by design by committee.

| Perhaps for some things progress must come about by adding more complexity.
| I don't know.  What do you think?  /Roger

I think design by committee achieves non-technical goals (agreements
between competitors about what to implement, attempts to reduce the
number of things that customers have to learn, reducing the risk
associated with implementation costs) that standardization can't. In
order to standardize, you have to have an existing technology. We want
to achieve new technologies without sacrificing the non-technical
goals that design by committee achieves, so we're stuck with a cycle
of simplification followed by complexification.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com> | He that will not apply new remedies
http://nwalsh.com/            | must expect new evils; for time is the
                              | great innovator.--Sir Francis Bacon

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