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Re: [xml-dev] Transformative Programming: Flow-based, functional,and more

On 10/18/2013 11:31 AM, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
* Brittleness works better inside of applications where you control the whole conversation.

* Flexibility, whether by means of multiple pathways, human intervention, or a combination of strategies, works better between applications where you don't control it all.

The tragedy of XML is that instead of building flexible systems for dealing with each others' expectations, we slapped schemas down as relatively simple tests, border guards who aren't very smart. Tangling it further, we then try to talk through schemas when we should probably just talk with each other.
Your vision is attractive, but it strikes me as impractical ... wouldn't it be nice if we could just all be adults and get along? I think of schemas and structured conversations as the armor that you need when you go into a hostile environment. I don't think you make the environment less hostile by stripping off your armor. Well, you *can*, but you have to be willing to risk everything. Sometimes that may be worth it if you think there is a rational partner with whom you can negotiate. Certainly it's worth trying to create situations where looser agreements can work since everyone benefits. But there can be situations (cooperating with natural enemies) where more explicit standards keep people from tearing at each other's throats.


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