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RE: Re: XSLT and the 80/20 point (was RE: Tim Bray on " Which

RE:  Re: XSLT and the 80/20 point (was RE: Tim Bray on " Which
At 01:06 PM 3/18/2002 -0600, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
>Except in hindsight.  Everyone is an expert at that.
>XML was designed "in hindsight".
>Hindsight matters.

There's a lot of truth to that.

Everyone knows about Occam's Razor, and most designers say simplicity, 
conceptual integrity, etc. are important to them. Still, most of our 
initial designs are more complex than we would like. If we're lucky, our 
colleagues point out potential simplifications. More likely, they point out 
all the important cases that our initial solution did not cover. A good 
designer then goes back to the drawing board, looking for a solution 
general enough to cover these cases without a bunch of special casing, 
using hindsight as a tool for knowing what to throw out (grin!).

One set of technologies that matter are the break-through technologies that 
show how something new can be done. These generally have warts, but they 
show the way. Ten years later, we may want to use something else. Another 
set of technologies that matter are less brilliant, simple reworkings of 
the original ideas. XML was not creative or original. Neither was Java, 
really. Both are excellent examples of hindsight in action.



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