Re: Top-down or bottom-up?
David Megginson wrote: > > In principle, I know that Paul is right; in practice, I've lost much > of the faith that I once had in top-down approaches to anything, from > system design to macroeconomics. Stop being reasonable, David ... it really doesn't go with the political climate anywhere nowadays!! ;-) All the same, I agree. True innovation rarely comes from the top down. The history of technology shows it conclusively. It's the sociology of things -- the incentives need to go to the right people, and when innovation is the game, people at the "top" of the heap usually can't even see the problems that need those innovations (and often can't risk letting them get fixed, if they can see them). What's interesting is the cycles that show up. Bottom-up phases get followed by top-down ones, get followed by bottom-up ones again. IP networking grew bottom up, but nowadays there are lots of top-down network management tools that are essential (when they work :-) as well as small networks and ISPs. Personal computers are now driven by corporate buyers, not hackers. Operating systems for PCs started as bottom up, have had a detour through a top-down monopoly, and now there's again a growing interest in more grass-roots efforts such as Linux ... which curiously enough are now harnessing quite a lot of "top down" work done over the last few decades! Top-down approaches work when the problems are relatively stable; but things like the web are changing way too fast for that. Bottom-up ones work to harness innovation, in terms both of technologies (e.g. new web technologies) and business models (e.g. open source). - Dave xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1 To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; (un)subscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
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