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Re: [xml-dev] Not using mixed content? Then don't use XML

On 3/25/13 11:22 AM, James Fuller wrote:
> Simon sez'
>> Those who won't acknowledge that they are sick rarely respond well
>> to a diagnosis.  Those who make their livings from the continuation
>> of the illness - well, that's even more complicated, and a key
>> part of the problem we've built.
> Sorry Simon, this statement doesn't float for me (perhaps I am very
> ill) ... just because XML went through a gigantic hype curve and got
> to the other side, doesn't mean it is 'sick' or 'ill'.

It's not about the hype curve.  It's about a different kind of 
epidemiology, in which we "XML folk" are the carriers of a particularly 
nasty virus.  "Waterfall development" is now recognized as a curse in 
most other cultures, but not so much here.  Even when developers work 
without schemas, so many of our tools expect them that they also carry 
the virus.

We're shocked when those we hope will join us run away, because they can 
see the brokenness and we (usually) cannot.

> It is far too easy with the benefit of hindsight to categorically
> state how 'terrible' a certain decision was ... to take an example
> from my geologist past, its like saying to Nature how stupid s/he
> was when she evolved a species of snake to grow legs, lose them for a
> few million to only grow them back again ... 100 million years after
> the fact. I don't mind evolution and you shouldn't mind it either.

This is not about a single mistake.  This is about a culture that 
continues to make the same mistakes over and over, and has not noticed 
the resulting shrinkage of its habitat.

> Calling it ill, broken culture or otherwise just seems like you are
> bitter that XML never gained worldwide dominance

Bitter?  No, not at all.

In many ways, XML punched my ticket perfectly.  It was the right subject 
for me to explain at exactly the right time, fueling my career as a 
writer and editor.  Even the end of its hype curve came at almost 
exactly the right time for me, freeing me to return to the Web with a 
much expanded perspective.

The people in XML are, generally speaking, the greatest people I've 
worked with in technology.  I suspect that has something to do with 
Liam's comments about the divide between programmers and text folks, but 
no, there's no bitterness there either.

We failed at the original vision of SGML for the Web, and that's fine. 
It turns out that the Web didn't actually need SGML.

> ... I for one have
> never seen the right technology applied by 'crowdsourcing' ...
> otherwise we would have a lot more lisp programmers around. XML is
> widely deployed and adopted .... move on, we have.

This isn't crowdsourcing, and, um... what does crowdsourcing have to do 
with Lisp?  Those feel like very different cultures.

> What I find amazing (and what Mr. Brooks was going on about) is if
> you choose the right technology at the right moment you can be *a
> LOT* more productive over the average approach ... to me xml
> technology stack makes me as an individual very productive, but
> perhaps thats because the problems I choose to use the tech on
> match.

If you enjoy the disease, you're unlikely to want a cure.  Some diseases 
are like that.

Simon St.Laurent

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