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To comment further: an inflection point is only perceived
if the scale of movement exceeds the measurement threshold
of any function that dispatches based on the interval
(a difference that makes a difference).
Functions are like viewpoints in chaos and complexity theory;
they have a space of operation so to determine if an
inflection point is a minor or major perturbation, you
have to know or be able to measure the scope of the
affective action (an encapsulated inflection may have
no couplers of interest). XML has couplers of interest
1. The mouse has many variants but is conceptually the same
device Englebart demoed minus the chording.
2. The same can be said for keyboards.
3. Except for cosmetics, the windows metaphor has changed
All are commodities. Low margin or not, big changes in
any of these would have couplers of interest everywhere.
Is XML a low margin commodity? Yes. Worse, so are
the implementations (I'm trying to be less elliptical) so
unless the gains of refactoring are obvious and scale
out of the view of the developers or attain a mass of
support such that the mass is the observable, there isn't
much evidence that there is an inflection point worth
tracking. I suppose if enough developers make enough
noise, it might be.
The other approach would be that critical individuals agree
(eg. Derek-Denny Brown, Dare Obasanjo, etc. at Microsoft,
Tim Bray at Sun, whoever their peers are at Oracle, etc.) who
then make the W3C aware that they will be moving to a new
consensus. (I'm not discounting the W3C, just that this
goes faster and more directly if the requirements originate
on the vendor side.)
The question is then one of moving the application mass.
That isn't certain with the buy-in of those
individuals (the customers can resist), but it won't
happen at all without them. What one might ask is
what changes require a change to the syntax features
vs ones that can be achieved by subsetting as was done
for SGML to create XML and for which there are examples
as you noted.
I expect that some parts of this question are answered
by your presentation in DC next month, yes? If so,
we can take it up in the hallway.
From: Michael Champion [mailto:email@example.com]
OK, automobiles, television, most home appliances, homebuilding
technology ... lots of things have been essentially "good enough" for
decades. I'm trying to think of a computer-related technology that
exhibits this (mainframes? COBOL?). In the technology industry,
who's not busy bein' reborn is busy becomin' a low margin commodity.