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RE: [xml-dev] Recent allegations about me

> I wager people can't always spot rubbish, particularly in 
> subjects they're not familiar with, or when the rubbish is 
> well written -- or both.  Remember James Frey?  Great, but 
> totally bogus writing.

I don't remember James Frey (never heard of him - looks like a US story that
the rest of the world ignored), but I've now read the Wikipedia article on
him and it tells me as much as I need to know. I do trust Wikipedia, at
least on matters that are only of casual interest - if there's anything
totally bogus there's a very good chance that someone will challenge it.

What you do get is a balancing of viewpoints. If you look at the article on
Down's syndrome, for example, you will get a distillation of the scientific
knowledge of the medical establishment, the views of professional
educationalists, and the personal experience of parents working with the
affected children day by day. You don't get that combination in any other
forum, and it has immense value. You will also get conflicts, where
educationalists and parents don't agree, and the conflict is useful too.

In our own field you can see similar effects: the article on "relational
database" has gradually converged to a point where it covers both the
theoretical and practitioner viewpoints. By contrast, if you buy a book with
that title, the chances are it will cover only one of those viewpoints.

Michael Kay

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