RE: SV: Tim Bray on "Which Technologies Matter?"
Thanks John. :-) Just curious. Did a technical innovation (eg, automated typesetting, typewriter keyboards) drive the convergence and subsequent stabilization? For those who don't follow markup history: automated typesetting systems drove markup to emerge as the progenitor of what we have today. The concept has been around for quite some time. The name belies the origin. What we sometimes call "the environment" can include the politics of the zeitgeist and any other number of factors. What is usually of most concern are the systemic requirements. For SGML to emerge into widespread use, there had to be a widespread system that could use it. As I said before, the Internet and the application, the Web, provided infrastructure. The movement to markup or something like it after that had to do with at least two sets of requirements: 1. Systemic requirements 2. Conceptual requirements What we often have problems with when the "history" thread raises its ugly little head is keeping these two sets of requirements separated such that we draw useful lessons from history. It is vital that we understand what markup conceptually provides (and what of these concepts matters) and what the system we host it on requires (and what of that system's requirements are so important that we will judiciously prune the conceptual requirements for use on that system). That is the history of XML, SGML, and markup that matters, IMO, for technical decisions. The people matter too because the team matters, but that is a different thread and one which the majority of the principals involved don't disagree on AFAICT. If it is contentious, at least for me, it is because the example set by this team will be and is widely emulated as a pattern for success. Let us bend that twig to a shape that meets the needs of the markup team for a century and beyond. Then we will have done a job folks like Yuri would have approved of. In my view, that matters more than the technology and I think we do possess the understanding to achieve it. len From: John Cowan [mailto:jcowan@r...] "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" scripsit: > But any tweaking of the alphabet has serious implications > to that framework. How long (John Cowan>?) has our > standard western alphabet had 26 regular characters? Well, i and j on the one hand, and u, v, and w (double u or double v) used to be mere glyphic variants. Michael Everson would know better, but I think a stable distinction didn't exist until about the 18th century.
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