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RE: [xml-dev] Recent allegations about me

It isn't a consequence of XML.  XML made it easier to do by making
subsequent specifications contingent on a syntax agreement.  One then gets
some mileage out of the tools for files conforming to that syntax, but
otherwise, it is strictly a matter of being application appropriate.  As
I've said, X3D has been a good case where XML utility has been tested
because strictly speaking, a scene graph isn't a rooted hierarchy and the
XML syntax is overkill.  

That said, multiple standards simply equate to multiple agreements or
communities of practice.  There is nothing wrong about that and there are
degrees to which some systems should be opened or closed.

I'm being facetious in some parts of my post, but I am also trying to evoke
a sense of the needless competition.   Take two religions such as Christian
Methodism and Buddhism which both acknowledge suffering.  My Methodist
Minister says that Buddhism is about removing suffering by doing away with
attachments.  He considers that cold means in contrast to the Christian way
that says that suffering is reduced by the acknowledgement of the Christ.  I
hesitate to correct him, but as Buddhism was taught to me by my Zen master,
life is suffering.  Meditation cannot remove it, but it can reduce it by
reducing needless attachments that lead to needless suffering.

If that example is orthogonal, seemingly, consider that multiple standards
and specifications often have the same aim:  to reduce needless work or
rework.  They go about it differently because they start with different
descriptions and different constraints.   Neither is inherently weak or
wrong, and both can be said to be equally true if they do indeed get the
same results.  But we don't do that.   We play at the Bitter Butter Battle
and increase the pain for everyone, and specifically, we punish our friends
like Rick or Tim.

In effect, we argue for the teacher instead of the results of the teaching.

And therefore, we suffer needlessly.


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Marshall [mailto:rjm@zenucom.com] 
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2007 6:21 PM
To: Len Bullard
Cc: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Recent allegations about me

You know what the worst aspect of all this is?

They're not really standards.

Having the imprimatur of a standards organisation no longer means you 
are reading a standard. Why? Well now there's 2 document storage 
standards which is an oxymoron. There is a standard or there isn't a 

Why hasn't/can't the W3C or OASIS stepped in and mandated a standard as 
they are doing with everything else. Or has Microsoft simply taken the 
line (again?) "we don't care - do what you like, this is what we're doing".

The cost to the industry of 2 groups (microsoft and osf in this case) 
who can't or won't cooperate on standards is already large and it is 
about to become huge.

There again maybe it just opens business opportunities for others to 
provide a whole new generation of translation tools.

The jury can now start deliberating on whether this is a consequence of 
XML, and whether it's good, bad, or inevitable.


Len Bullard wrote:
> It would be interesting to know what kinds of facts are in dispute for the
> topic of OOXML.  As far as a Microsoft customer is concerned, OOXML can
> be a good thing.  
> For the rest of the market, it seems that even expert editing is not good
> enough; only adversarial slices that keep the issues in play without
> resolving them into a fair analysis.  
> The tabloid web press rejoices because their registers fill up with the
> marketing placements that have to be purchased to offset the free press
> given to the Microsoft competitors.   Profiting by this, the press has no
> incentive to figure out what is and is not true.  
> Analysts are similarly rewarded.  The customers are left to figure it out
> their own or to purchase ever more expensive consulting.  
> Instead of trending toward an open information system that benefits the
> public, government and industry, the web becomes the ties that bind them
> ever rising costs for IT infrastructures.
> So be it.   A cool Vista emerges before us.
> We see the arc of mob violence as the villagers go calling at the windmill
> when the one-armed constable calls them to stab the beast in Redmond with
> their pitchforks.   Because this has become a habit, it is no longer cool
> but because it continues to erode market share, it requires a forward
> looking strategy.
> Perhaps it is time for Microsoft to acknowledge that every attempt they
> to open up their products will be forked over by the village idiots who do
> not buy their products to the detriment of the village idiots who do.
> Perhaps it is in the best interests of their customers to close the
> the same way that Apple does even as Apple advertises itself as the 'cool
> computer'.  Apparently, closed systems are 'cool' because they are easier
> use.  Given the political problems and higher costs of interoperability,
> may be in the interest of Microsoft customers to dedicate the resources to
> improving productivity and ease of use, the hallmarks of the cool closed
> system. 
> Sun and IBM can continue to bear the costs of their populist but uncool
> ideals on the backs of their stockholders.  Other companies can decide if
> they wish to continue paying their engineers to work on open source
> products.   Municipalities, States and nations that wish to work with
> products can continue to pay consultants to cobble them together and cross
> their fingers that their evolution continues and can keep pace technically
> with the closed systems.  That's fine.  Civil servants are never cool
> anyway.
> There will be no legal or moral obligation for the closed systems to
> interoperate past those legally obligated by signed contracts among paying
> cool customers.  They pay for cool clothes and more
> expensive-because-they-are-cool-when-closed earPods so this isn't a
> The public of course will benefit from such arrangements as they have in
> past by buying the cool products and the knockoffs.
> Since it seems unlikely that this or other groups can openly fairly and
> rationally formulate a means to discipline editing of open resources such
> wikipedia, or determine formal means to categorize and ascertain the truth
> of these articles, it will become necessary for other groups to take on
> task of labeling these resources much as product test groups do.  Such
> criteria and test results will be published and those who wish to ensure
> that their family, employees or customers use high quality useful
> information can subscribe to these just as they now subscribe other kinds
> site filters.
> I'm cool with all of that... one idiot to another.
> len
> From: Manos Batsis [mailto:manos_lists@geekologue.com] 
> Tei wrote:
>> But political editing, comercial editing, and other partisan editing
>> is discouraged. Because NPOV works better with neutral people behind
>> facts and discusions.
> I may be missing the context here, but neutral parties are often 
> incapable of realizing important parts of disputed issues. Ideally, 
> community based information sources should equally allow supporters of 
> different views to demonstrate those.
> When that occurs in the same chunk of information (i.e. a wikipedia page 
> or an article elsewhere) the reader(?), enjoys a round-up that allows 
> the drawing of his or her own conclusions. Well, in theory.
> It often the case that a dispute does not occur (only) due to 
> misinformation or distortion of facts. Some times people simply 
> appreciate different, conflicting facts or theories over a subject.
> Sadly, the only meaningful definition of "neutral" in this case, is 
> being responsible of including all views and claims in the information 
> presented. This function, when practiced correctly, naturally results in 
> bearing the complaints of every side involved.
> All the above are generalizations of course, but also my view on the 
> matter. I have no doubt on Rick's integrity or quality of work. I just 
> do not really believe the setup serves any real purpose :-)
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