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RE: "Which Technologies Matter?" & xml processing models...

co processing models
Len said:

> The success of .net will be that it has taken the 
> VB model and applied it to the web.  That is why 
> it is productive. 

That approach might be fine for "island of automation" desktop development, 
but typically breaks down when faced with the realities of distributed 
development.  Microsoft would like you to think that ignoring Peter Deustch's 
Fallacies of Distributed Computing is a viable development strategy.  This one 
fact alone might doom VB in a networked world.

As Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, remarked, "If 
you don't know how things are connected, then often the cause of problems is 

Do you know of any mission-critical, large systems that have been written 
entirely in VB?  Especially on the server side?  Hmmmm...didn't think so.

As a corollary, there is no magic bullet/tool that will take inexperienced or 
junior developers and make their output equivalent to an experienced person's 
productivity.  4GL's could be viewed as an example of this.

As for which technologies matter, I concur with Tim Bray.  His marginalization 
of SGML might rub some the wrong way, but except for a very specific 
problem domain, SGML hasn't had the impact nor will have the impact that 
XML-based technologies seem to be engendering.  That is not to say that 
SGML is not a powerful/useful/interesting technology and that it was the 
foundation that XML sprung from.  It's all relative, and given the comparison 
criteria Tim presented, XML comes out on top.

However, we never need to forget that we (as technologists), and technologies 
themselves, all stand on the shoulders of giants.  I started in computer 
technology in the early 70's....and I still feel that much of my work has built on 
what came before, both in the past and currently.  I'm certain that the 
technology world in 2020 will be standing on the shoulders of such "giants" as 
Tim and others like him.

On another note, there was in interesting comment (and XML-Deviant 
summary) regarding a processing model for XML.  Though not quite the same 
thing, the W3C's efforts on WCSL spring to mind as an intriguing attempt to 
allow declarative specification of process flow and collaborative choreography 
of web services invocations (similar to the BPSS specification of ebXML).  
Maybe the work on WCSL can bootstrap the XML processing model needs?

Andrzej Jan Taramina
Chaeron Corporation: Enterprise System Solutions


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