RE: s-expressions and XML was Re: terra incog nita
> -----Original Message----- > From: Champion, Mike [mailto:Mike.Champion@S...] > Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2001 7:27 AM > To: xml-dev@l... > Subject: RE: s-expressions and XML was Re: terra > incog nita > > > > > > -----Original Message----- > > From: Jonathan Borden [mailto:jborden@m...] > > Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2001 9:49 AM > > To: David Brownell; Joe English; xml-dev@l...; Tim Bray > > Subject: s-expressions and XML was Re: terra > > incognita > > > > There are many similarities between LISP and XSLT, excepting > > of course that XML et al. have been solidly backed by > commercial folk, at > > least that is the claim. Perhaps the differences are more to do with > marketing than > > technology. > > Richard P. Gabriel's Worse is Better essay > (http://www.ai.mit.edu/docs/articles/good-news/subsection3.2.1 > .html see also > http://www.dreamsongs.com/WorseIsBetter.html) is the classic > explanation of > why LISP is a marginal technology today and Unix/C/DOS/Windows/etc. is > everywhere. Everyone should read it a couple of times a year ... or > whenever the thought that doing the Right Thing will pay the > bills starts to > infect one's consciousness. > > Here's "worse is better" in a nutshell ... see if you think > it fits in with > XML's success so far. > > "The worse-is-better philosophy is only slightly different: > > Simplicity-the design must be simple, both in implementation > and interface. > It is more important for the implementation to be simple than > the interface. > Simplicity is the most important consideration in a design. > > Correctness-the design must be correct in all observable > aspects. It is > slightly better to be simple than correct. > > Consistency-the design must not be overly inconsistent. > Consistency can be > sacrificed for simplicity in some cases, but it is better to > drop those > parts of the design that deal with less common circumstances than to > introduce either implementational complexity or inconsistency. > > Completeness-the design must cover as many important situations as is > practical. All reasonably expected cases should be covered. > Completeness can > be sacrificed in favor of any other quality. In fact, > completeness must > sacrificed whenever implementation simplicity is jeopardized. > Consistency > can be sacrificed to achieve completeness if simplicity is retained; > especially worthless is consistency of interface." > > > Intriguingly, I sat near a member of the W3C Schema working > group on a plane > a couple of years ago, and he was reading the Worse is Better essay > (apparently it was "assigned reading" for the WG). I wonder what they > concluded from the assignment; it would appear that most recent W3C > activities are the antithesis of Worse is Better. > Simplicity is being > sacrificed for correctness and completeness, and specs are > held up for years > while they try to sort out consistency. This is obviously > the Right Thing > to do, but does it take XML down the same road to oblivion that LISP > traveled? Time will tell ... > > > > ----------------------------------------------------------------- > The xml-dev list is sponsored by XML.org <http://www.xml.org>, an > initiative of OASIS <http://www.oasis-open.org> > > The list archives are at http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/ > > To subscribe or unsubscribe from this list use the subscription > manager: <http://lists.xml.org/ob/adm.pl> >
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