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

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Do you approach a problem differently if the objective is unknown?

Objectives known and fixed in time, space, language, and culture =
solutions to be evaluated in terms of access parameters (speed, time, 
input difficulty and the like) and quality of output.

Objectives unknown and moving in time, space, language, and culture =
proposed technologies discover the parameters of the objective over time 
in the light of language, culture, circumstance and position.  

A prime example of this second type of problem solving occurred when the 
Internet was at its beginnings, everyone sought to determine how best to 
use it.   

Browsers were problematic, FTP was the prime means of packet transport, 
and email might take a day or two, routing was done via Linux and Unix 
boxes, only a few even knew it existed, and those that did were struggling 
to learn how to use the multitude of new tools each of us were creating.  
hacking was a way of learning and the techs would discourage the 
occasional marketing efforts with denial of service attacks via telnet 
from high speed networks. 

The days before the startling giveaway by Netscape of a Browser that  
could actually scroll an image to the screen embedded in text. ( 15 
minutes at 300 baud to load the page?). 

The discovery of just what was the problem, was the problem. Each new 
technology brought new lights of experience and surfaced new problems, 
but no complete solutions.

What has recently surfaced in this discovery of the problem process is 
laws, lawyers, government rule making agencies and their greedy for profit 
clients together with government and their hungry for power over everyone 

Time has shown that they are a very large part of the problem.  
Insurmountable even because they are attempting to force the technology to 
fit into their traditional elite-franchised nation state systems and to 
segment and control the information environment and to claim ownership 
of most of it (Rule: the elite intend to profit from their rule.).

In pre Internet days, rule of law and a system of treaties were enough to 
maintain complete control of all humanity both domestically and 

The Internet has challenged not only the power of the traditional elite to 
maintain adequate control, but also the viability of the nation state 
system itself.

The Internet is to the nation state system what Martin Luther's post to 
the church door was in the 15th century, one more giant leap in the human 
quest to bring full access and full power of control of self to "self".  

Unrestricted access to the knowledge, information and technology 
that civilization has to offer is a human right to which every single 
person alive is entitled.  

The Internet has shown that no law, no rule or tradition of property, no 
right of nations should be allowed to abridge the human right to it, but 
experience has shown that laws, if allowed, will domainate.

Believe you me, the nation state system is gearing up to meet the 
challenge.  Until recently, few have seen that challenge as a problem in 
the Internet. 

In the Radio and TV act of 1948 terminated independent free access to 
the broadcast spectrum and created the FCC.  Thousands had to shut down 
their transmitters for lack of license, money or whatever.

Anyone could be a broadcaster but the act restricted broadcasting to 
government licensees only. It made it technically and financially 
difficult to be a broadcaster.  This I believe is about to happen on the 
net. Soon internet servers will be licensed by government only to the few 
who the elite will deem worthy to gate information to the minds of the 
many.  The government will determine who will filter information and who 
will earn profit from serving infomation content.

If ever something was loosely assembled at its bare minimums 
it was the Internet and the results thus far have been astounding. Left 
unconstrained, the Internet could be the tool that saves humanity from its 


On Thu, 16 Feb 2006, Peter Hunsberger wrote:

> 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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