The DOM and the victim, the iconoclast and the believer

Len Bullard cbullard at
Sun Jan 16 20:25:41 GMT 2000

Didier PH Martin wrote:

> a) we define all interfaces as contracts something that is stable throughout
> the time. A contract that can be fulfilled even if the components evolve. A
> contract that can be fulfilled in spite of the component evolution. If we
> change the contract we simply create a new one. If we change the interface,
> we simply create a new one.

A contract is good for the duration specified.  In this case, the
intervals of redefinition;  see ISO revision cycles.  It is incumbent on 
the signatories to define what is negotiable at each interval.  The
issue is to establish a parent ROA to which all other namespace owners
signatories, therefore establishing a semantic heritage which is used to 
arbitrate disputes.

> b) to do so, we have a mechanism to query the interface and get the right
> one.
> What? they say that your object broker should deal with that? Then how the
> object broker can differentiate between two interfaces having the same name
> but not the same specification? This is not mentionned in the OMG specs, so,
> how can we expect that they would do it in a standard way?

That is the issue.  You do not have a parent ROA.  Therefore, you have a 
contract which is interpretable in real time and no means to arbitrate.

> What? they say, just recompile the code. but what do we do if we do not have
> the source code?

You did not understand and/or specify your process and its
> What? they say, you're not suppose to have backward compatibility,
> manufacturers should make some money and therefore you have to buy again all
> the components each time a new recommendation is out. So, fine, please,
> include this as a note to the recommendations please :-)

If they say that and it is conflict with the parent ROA, then they 
are in violation of the contract.  That makes them litigable by whatever 
means is necessary.  What constitutes restitution?

> The believer point of view:
> OK, the humans are born with good intentions, only the society corrupts them
> (who said that? Jean Jacques Rousseau?). 

Corruption is not an issue because you will have to establish mutually 
assured interests.   What you may have is an issue of competence. 

> Yes indeed this is a weakness of the OMG
> model. 

If there is a flaw in the ROA, your remedy can only be postfix.

> And you, what are you? Have you given some thought about this issue. Is the
> DOM a never ending prototype or a component definition with support for
> backward compatibility and evolution (able to balance both). 

If this isn't clear, get clarification.  ISO makes it clear what the 
rules are for the lifecycle.  Some want to throw such out and claim 
a mysterious phenomenon which they do not define and is therefore,
assertion about "internet time", a lifecycle too short to make any 
agreements about lifecycle stable contracting practical.  It is, IMO, 
hogwash.  The Internet is not a force of nature or God; it is just code. 
Change to this is certainly subject to stable contracts.

That said, the effort to bring reasonable means to unreasonable 
members of any contract community is the precise goal of law. 
It comes down to honor.


xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as: or CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
Please note: New list subscriptions now closed in preparation for transfer to OASIS.

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list