A Plea for Schemas

Tim Bray tbray at textuality.com
Tue Nov 2 06:31:45 GMT 1999

At 12:07 AM 11/2/99 -0600, Paul Prescod wrote:
>By the time you have a schema for your domain you have mapped out your
>communal understanding of that domain. 

This is a surprising and counter-intuitive assertion that needs some
supporting evidence.  I disagree.  I think large parts of the the 
"communal understanding" live in wetware between human ears and in messy
procedural code.

>In many areas that *is* cracking
>the nut.

Where I work, people aren't satisfied until there's running code that
does useful stuff, and the schema-ware is an essential but fairly small
component of getting there.

> As a practical example, consider word processing. By now there
>are dozens of word processors and desktop publishers. It would be a
>massive effort to come to understand their commonalities and define the
>"universal DTP language."

Huh?  Weren't we talking about schemas? -T.

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