Top-down or bottom-up?

Paul Prescod paul at
Tue Jun 15 06:34:15 BST 1999

David Megginson wrote:
> More specifically, top-down can work only with very, very good models,
> and even I (who am known to shoot my mouth off) would not go so far as
> to claim that I can produce a sufficiently accurate and complete model
> of the Web over the next five years; in the absence of such a model,
> bottom-up development and the free market of ideas is the only
> reasonable choice, messy as it may be.

I don't think I can produce *the* data model that will be used over the
Web for the next five years. I think that I can produce *a* data model
that would be demonstrably better than the complete lack of such.

The existence of the quasi-standardized "ESIS" model did not interfere
with the later creation of the much more powerful "grove" model any more
than the existence of HTML somehow prevented the later invention of XML.

You can change your mind in data models just as you can in language
syntaxes. There is no threshhold you cross and can never cross back. In
fact, I have long believed that data models and syntaxes work beautifully
together because a standardized syntax allows you to shift around your
data model without breaking some things (i.e. communication lines) and a
standardized data model allows you to shift around your syntax without
breaking other things (i.e back-end processing). 

standardized-data-models-are-about-the-freedom-to-change-your-mind 'ly

 Paul Prescod

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as: and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list