FW: About template. part 2

Len Bullard cbullard at hiwaay.net
Sun Nov 21 18:28:44 GMT 1999

Didier PH Martin wrote:
> I picked here biztalk, not because I am a Microsoft fan, but simply because
> its out there and documented and probably will have a certain influence in
> the community (I agree Len, the balance of power is not yet in the hands of
> the knowledge but still in the hands of the capital :-) ref: The post
> industrial society by Daniel Bell).

I might but right now, reading the XML Schema will consume the fun 
reading time.   Paying gigs and all that.  The process descriptions 
you provide show that you are thinking the application through 
in the environment in which it is used and with which it must 
interface.  Que bueno. 

SML can be a subset of XML and still be XML just as XML is a subset of 
SGML and is still SGML.  Call any application language what you like.  
Nothing prevents a device-specific application language from being
and fielded.   Write a spec which restricts the features you need.  The 
odd bit is because you have SGML Declarations, you might be better off 
making it a sibling of XML, not a child.  Of course, that means someone 
has to be sharp enough with markup to work that out.  Just carving up 
XML may not be the best thing to do and if done, someone who starts 
from the parent language and works their way into the subset may 
get a better system with more legitimacy not that that matters among 
us bastards.

Capital rules if economic success is required to field a system.  Some 
systems, eg, Linux, don't need commercial success first.  They need 
trained users (computer scientists).  After that, then when it becomes 
something to sell to the mortals, the RedHats of the world capitalize 
and become the new Microsoft's, just as capitalized, just as entrenhed.

If the system is pre-stigmatized, then the success is not one of
technical application but of 
convincing sufficient numbers that you have a better solution which
the wart on its tail will enable them to succeed either by making new 
opportunities or by seizing them from those who cannot or will not 
defend their own.  Often, to do that, you must convince people who
understand the technical so rely on the simplistic.  SML is a simplistic
It will work but it may or may not sell.  That depends on who supports
so if the Nokia's of the world have the clout, they can make that
happen.  The question 
the information designer asks is what processes governed by what
will the data objects be used in?   The systems engineering approach to
is straightforward and non-political. 

Selling is always political.  All politics are local.  What happens 
at the boundaries of locales?  Interfaces.    It is and has been 
noted, the difficulty of hypertext language design:  what is the 
practical difference between the implementation of a hyperlink and the 
implementation of a function?  None really.  So, goTo, goSub, goDo, 
and do well.  If that simple approach proves as HTML 2.0 did, not 
to have the power to sustain the applications it targets, next 
year, it won't be so simple.  I suspect the SMLers have not yet, 
as the HTMLers did not, consider the production issues.

I am agnostic about SML.  There may be reasons for re-invention, and 
more for specification, but none for counter-revolution other than 
a name and a name for those that name it.  XML showed the way by 
taking an ISO standard, re-inventing that, changing the name, and 
creating a W3C specification.  So far, so good.  Good engineering needs 
documented requirements (and by that, not those sophomoric lists that 
start with "must be easy"; that is an annotation about the user, not the 
system), but real tangible descriptions of the target system, the 
system boundaries, the environment (interfaces) and so forth.  
I suspect that by the time the SMLer works their way through 
all of that, the cellphone/palmpilot competitors will already have 
something working.  Running code and all that...

The Internet gets messier every day.  Such a market.  Oy vey.


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