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Thanks Mike. While it may be turtles all the way down in
some worlds, in mine and I suspect yours, there is a bottom
line too. See appendix a below.
>Just in case this was partially directed to me (I've been pushing the
>MS party line on the W3C lists on this topic), let me make one thing
>perfectly clear :-) There's no doubt that speeding up XML and
>compressing payloads is a big deal in some important scenarios.
>Binary XML is happening, here, at all the big vendors AFAIK, at W3C,
>and in a bunch of small innovators.
Good. That is good news. The need is pressing.
>- Is this technology ready for widepread standardization? I lean
>toward "no", because a) there is a tradeoff between speeding up XML
>and compressing the payload, and different use cases would adjust this
>tradeoff differently and b) we are as an industry learning an awful
>lot about how to do this better, so freezing the technology at the
>current state is short-sighted.
As you know my position on standards and specifications, you know I don't
care if it is a standard yet. I care that it works, is affordable, and
we'll steal the rest later.
>- Can a single "efficient XML interchange" (aka EXI, "binary XML" is
>no longer au courant) Recommendation hit a good 80/20 point across
>the major use cases? I'm keeping an open mind on that, but I fear
>that many major stakeholders want a different 20%.
Ok. We'd have to go offline about this and that might be happening
in other rooms.
>Can EXI be standardized without undermining XML's basic value
>proposition of universal interoperability?
We may have to scope 'universal' into 'manageable'. I think it is
too early to standardize because the likely case is no size fits all
effectively. What I'd like to do is manage XML where it works well
and align it with something that works better in a subset of cases
where XML isn't good enough.
Universal reuse of information is a red herring. Information is captured
a limited set of uses that we can optimize, and if we find later we
overoptimized, well, that's the shoe business: the shoe fits until you
need new ones. You may be building turtles in Redmond, but here
we are in the shoe business where repeat business is guaranteed. :-)
During the first test flight after the fire (apollo 7), a member
of Wally Schirra's crew (working off memory here), floated past the camera
during a live worldwide broadcast with a sign that read "Are you a turtle?"
The mission controller replied, "You got me with that one. I owe you
a round." because of course, he couldn't give the right answer on live TV.
At the bottom of any stack of turtles is a person.
If you don't want to be that person, when asked "are you a
turtle?" reply, "you bet your sweet a** i am". If you can't
answer that out loud in the company in which it is asked,
you are required to buy a round for the room. This tradition
started in WWII among test pilots hanging their bunnies out
over hot engines and flight systems that were also, 'Turtles
all the way down'.
Given the size of that room during that mission, the controller may
still be out there buying drinks. I'm waiting for mine.