Re: Re: Two Perspectives (was Re: URIs are simply na
Like most dyadic decompositions of our field, this one is simple, elegant and highly dubious. I am particularly troubled by the non-sequiter that those with an information-in-motion perspective have "little reverence for the value of the information". I'm a fully paid up information-in-motion, everything flows, kinda guy. Yet, I am deeply concerned about the value and longevity of information. I'm also far from being alone. Here is another dyadic decomposition for you:- There are two types of markup technologist in the world. Those who think there are two forms of markup technologist, and those who don't. :-) Sean >On 2002-02-15 21:12, "ext Steven R. Newcomb" <srn@c...> wrote: > > It all depends on which documents you regard as > > relevant. In SGML, for example, an "entity" is a very > > different thing. And so is a "resource". > > > > It is very useful and revealing to see the whole > > history of our field as a conflict between two > > perspectives: > > > > (1) The perspective of those who provide bandwidth > > and processing, and > > > > (2) the perspective of those who provide and maintain > > information. > > > > From Perspective 2, which is the perspective on which > > SGML is based, it is nonsensical to define what > > information is (or to think of information in terms of) > > what a process produces, or in terms of a > > communications protocol. For Perspective 2, > > information just sits somewhere, occupying real space. > > Its "location" can be addressed in countless ways, in > > terms of other information -- other information that > > also "just sits there". For Perspective 2, information > > really, really exists, it has real value (in that > > access to it can improve human productivity), its > > maintenance absorbs real human effort, and it does > > absolutely nothing. > > > > From Perspective 1, which is the perspective on which > > the Web and all other communications and computing > > systems are based, it is nonsensical to think of > > information in any terms than other "information in > > motion", either being copied from one place to another, > > or being transformed in various ways. Perspective 1 > > has little reverence for the value of the information > > itself, or for the effort involved in maintaining it. > > Perspective 1 frequently (and, to my way of thinking, > > ignorantly and self-defeatingly) tramples on, > > diminishes, and destroys the value of information in > > many ways. But the Perspective 1 guys have nearly all > > of the money and virtually all of the power. This is > > because Perspective 1 is in a much stronger position to > > set up the toll booths and collect tolls. > > > > Perspective 1 is so unconcerned with the value of > > information that it doesn't bother to distinguish > > between the Eiffel Tower and addressable information > > that serves as a surrogate for the Eiffel Tower; > > they're both just a "resource". Perspective 1 is so > > blithely unconcerned with the problem of information > > management that there doesn't even have to be anything > > at the addresses that are used to uniquely identify > > individual XML Namespaces. > > > > The predominance of Perspective 1 is the reason why the > > Web is such an appallingly bad place to *manage* > > information, even while it's a great place to *publish* > > it. > > > > Of course, the two perspectives need each other > > desperately. It has been my hope that the XML > > phenomenon would be a bridge-builder between them. The > > jury's still out on that. For the last few years, > > things haven't been looking very promising. > > > > Things began badly for Perspective 2, when the > > Perspective 1 people overlooked the primary benefit of > > SGML, and decided to make it unnecessary to provide a > > model for XML information. Except for the enablement > > of some tricky hacks that were made possible by this > > end-run -- hacks whose goals could have been > > accomplished by other, less destructive means -- this > > was a fruitless thing to have done. It has had the > > unfortunate side-effect of keeping millions of people > > from discovering the vital importance of Perspective 2. > > XML Namespaces was another major blow to Perspective 2: > > names were seen as a solution to a communications > > problem, rather than as handles for specific semantics. > > (The two sides have consistently talked right past each > > other on XML Namespaces; the spectacle would be comical > > if it weren't so incredibly expensive for everyone.) > > > > I see the confusing welter of confused, non-modular XML > > specifications as a hopeful sign. The Babel effect is > > slowing the pendulum down, and it may soon reverse its > > course, and move toward Perspective 2. I hope it does. > > If enhancing human productivity is truly the shared > > goal, balance must someday prevail. At the moment, > > most people are on one side or the other, but few > > realize that there is even a dialectic tension here, > > much less what the lack of balance between the two > > perspectives is costing everyone on this planet. When > > we all appreciate the value of the other side's > > perspective, things will improve a lot. > > > > It looks to me as though the W3C, having sinned > > grievously against Perspective 2, is now starting to > > move toward it. I nourish the hope that this is the > > real meaning of the "Semantic Web" initiative. If so, > > it's going to be a tough and divisive path for the W3C > > to follow, and I wish them well. I find many of their > > efforts to describe the goals of the Semantic Web as > > Delphic as others do. It would be a lot clearer if > > they could be seen to embrace Perspective 2, but it may > > not be possible to do that, in view of the overwhelming > > quantity of their Perspective 1 baggage. > > > > OASIS has long been much more sensitive to Perspective > > 2 than the W3C has. I applaud them for their longtime > > efforts to achieve a better balance. > > > > But I'm willing to support anybody who appreciates the > > importance and necessity of supporting Perspective 2. > > Perspective 2 is the underdog, and *balance* is what is > > needed. > > > > I'm an ISO guy, myself. ISO, the source of SGML, is a > > Perspective 2 stronghold. It's a source of ideas that > > Perspective 1 people have been extremely unwilling to > > support, like HyTime, architectural forms, and groves, > > and things that tend to make Perspective 1 people > > pretty nervous, like Topic Maps. > > > > What will .NET turn out to be? I'm no insider, but I'm > > willing to bet that Microsoft is preparing to be where > > the pendulum is going to be -- which is a lot closer to > > Perspective 2 than it is now. > > > > -- Steve > > > > Steven R. Newcomb, Consultant > > srn@c... > > > > voice: +1 972 359 8160 > > fax: +1 972 359 0270 > > > > 1527 Northaven Drive > > Allen, Texas 75002-1648 USA > > > > > >-- > >Patrick Stickler Phone: +358 50 483 9453 >Senior Research Scientist Fax: +358 7180 35409 >Nokia Research Center Email: patrick.stickler@n... > > > >----------------------------------------------------------------- >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> http://www.propylon.com
PURCHASE STYLUS STUDIO ONLINE TODAY!
Purchasing Stylus Studio from our online shop is Easy, Secure and Value Priced!
Download The World's Best XML IDE!
Accelerate XML development with our award-winning XML IDE - Download a free trial today!
Subscribe in XML format