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   Re: [xml-dev] Using The Principle of Least Power As A Razor

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On 2/16/06, Bullard, Claude L (Len) <len.bullard@intergraph.com> wrote:
> I hate to see web architectural principles in the same
> light as pop psychology.  So if there really is a
> deeper and clarifying principle here, one wants to be
> able to express it in simple terms that the marketing
> department can't screw up.

Don't think there is any deep clarifying principle here.  Even if
there was, it's not one that couldn't be screwed up....

I recall the first time I encountered the Mandelbrot set: the
algorithm looked pretty simple so I coded it up in a high level
language I was using at the time.  It had good floating point
libraries and I figured things would work fine.  The resulting program
was probably about 200 lines of code and took like 30 minutes to
produce a very low resolution plot.  So next I turned to C.  Now I got
it down to maybe 100 lines of code and I got a better resolution graph
in a couple of minutes but still nothing like the images that I
wanted.  Finally, I turned to 370 Assembler.  I had direct access to
the floating point registers so I could pull a couple of numerical
manipulation tricks and I finally got something that ran in seconds
and produced the results I wanted with probably about 40 lines of
code. (All of these essentially fed the same graphics library).

Could I base any development principles on this? Absolutely not, the
result was completely specific to the problem at hand and I think it
always will be.  IT seems to me that finding the "least powerful" way
to implement an algorithm, system or whatever requires as much
analysis, modelling and experimentation as any other approach to
matching requirements to implementation, if not more and is not
something that can be generalized or encapsulated in a couple of pithy
sound bites worth of "wisdom"..
Peter Hunsberger


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