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The authority-distribution problem

Hi Folks,

Last week Steve Newcomb sent a message to this list [1] that has me
very intrigued.  In his message he is hinting at problems, and hinting
there is a better way.  Consider these snippets of his message:

   The problem keeps coming up: how to distribute, 
   and limit the distribution, of authority over a 
   large-community-wide document type, among smaller 

   Top-down authority over document types simply 
   can't work across diverse human communities.

   The authority-distribution problem.

   Distribution of semantic authority.

   The W3C's focus on machine-to-machine communication 
   and AI left little room for questions about human 

   Different communities communicate differently within 
   themselves, and their syntaxes need to evolve in 
   different contexts with ever-diverging requirements.

   XML namespace fiasco

   This story is very far from being over


1. What is "the authority-distribution problem"?

2. What does it mean to "distribute semantic authority"?

3. What story is far from over?


[1] http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/200807/msg00024.html

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