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   RE: [xml-dev] The Best Technologies Don't Win

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 From: Eric van der Vlist [mailto:vdv@dyomedea.com] 

>Of course, we all know that the best technologies don't win, but I
don't really agree with the rest of your mail...


>OTH, the web is as tough as a jungle. The applications that survive,
elegant or not, are good in their ways and what we 
>call Web 2.0 is often based on cleaner principles than what we were
seeing one of two years ago.

>Mediocrity doesn't scale on the web and there seems to be a rather
encouraging tendency to go toward simplicity as 
>illustrated by the success of REST services (even if most of them
aren't really RESTful).

If they aren't Restful they aren't Restful.  The Emperor wears no

Mediocrity scales on the web well because it is recognizable and
observable in the same way a pop hit is.  It is an example of the level
of understanding that is good for one summer and disposed of by
midwinter.  Simplicity has its place in design but it isn't the answer
to all design challenges.  Otherwise, you'd be writing with a quill pen
on parchment putting it in a leather bag and handing it to a man on a
horse to take to a man with pole barge who'd take it to a steam ship
bitching every step of the way about how steam was ruining the elegance
and simplicity of horse cart transport.

The 'worse is better' meme is stupid.  It is the defense of mediocrity
by those who have yet to achieve anything more memorable or saleable so
they try to pull the market into the shape of the undifferentiable mass.
It works because the fear of being alone or left out of the crowd
dominates intelligent choice and averages it.

> We have XSD because it got the most votes at the time.   It's that
> simple.  The damming thing is, that is what the web does, not best or 
> worst, but simply does at all.  Worse is better because that is all it
> is capable of.   Chalk up another win for objectivism.

>The Web hasn't chosen W3C XML Schema. 

Yes it has.  See the W3C specifications.

>The Web largely lives without any schema language and when there is
one, DTDs are still largely predominant. 

How odd.  DTDs are specified in the one standard the web learned to love
to hate because it was too 'complex': SGML. 

>If we spoke about the Web, I wouldn't bet on W3C XML Schema! There is a
tendency in the Web technology stack to reject 
>over complex specs and I am not sure at all that W3C XML Schema will
ever be widely used on the Web.

There is a tendancy on the web to burgle the work of others and call
that invention.  RELAX NG is original work.  The web didn't invent it
and so far hasn't embraced it.   A few intelligent developers have but
find they can't get it adopted by the web.  Isn't that what these Spy vs
Spy threads are really about?  You want it.  You can't have it.  A
minority opinion has been effectively stifled.    What speaks louder,
the web or powerful monied interests?  See OpenDoc and Microsoft.  Has
the web caused the the initiation of a plugin project by Microsoft?
Nope.  Governments have.  Large procurements have.  Deep pockets have.
Did they listen to the web?  Maybe, but in the end, it comes down to
directed self-interest, not an abstraction of community.

You want better?  Do what you are doing.  Stand up for it in the town
square but don't whine that the will of the web is being stifled because
that spits in the face of the very crowd you say you support.

>That being said, I agree that W3C XML Schema is dominant in the crowd
of "XML enterprise developers" but that's a
> relatively small community compared to the Web community.

XML Schema dominates the tool stacks and that group of developers is by
far larger than the users of RELAX.  Furthermore, that group voted with
its feet for the W3C as its representative and therefore, approved.  Is
that the choice of intelligence or is it the fact that what doesn't
scale at a moment in time is intelligence?  No when we speak of the mass
voting, we speak of averaging.  Mediocre wins every time.

But mediocre evolves as long as it is in play.



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