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RE: RE: Tim Bray on "Which Technologies Matter?"


RE: RE:  Tim Bray on "Which Technologies Matter?"
Any time a technology is in use for ten or twenty 
years, standardized, and then looked at for a different 
environment of application, the 80/20 rule is what 
engineers apply to get it up and running in that 
new environment.  That only makes sense.  

It doesn't revise history.  Unless we keep that 
history as clean as can be managed, the character 
of an effort degrades.  Don't teach them to steal 
by example, or lie to garner fame or money.  It 
isn't that that won't work; it is that the results 
are degrading for the team.   Markup has a long 
history full of important people whose individual 
character, whose individual goals, and whose individual 
contributions made it a success.  That is teamwork, 
even when they don't realize they are on the same team.

I'm sitting here trying to think of a technology that 
"didn't matter".   I can't think of one.  Every one of 
them in some way contributed.  They varied by their 
monetary success and eventual ubiquity.   If that is 
what this is about, consider that SGML is still being 
used, as Rick Jeliffe noted, by major publishing houses 
to do the job for which it was originally designed. 

Maybe to those businesses, the web doesn't matter; or if 
it does, they see XML for what it is:  a subset of SGML 
designed to work On The Web.

len


From: Mike Champion [mailto:mc@x...]

3/15/2002 5:01:49 PM, "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@i...> wrote:

>If we had to invent XML from scratch, would it 
>have mattered?  If HTML had been invented from 
>scratch, would it have succeeded?

Well, I had a similar reaction the first time I read the 
presentation.  Then I turned it around: If it weren't for
HTML and XML, no one (outside of our tiny little world 
circa 1996) would argue that SGML "mattered." 

Other things on the list may not have mattered in their
original incarnation -- let's say that "4GL" didn't matter,
but they proved the concept that you don't need to be a
computer scientist to write useful programs, which led
to Visual Basic (etc.) which clearly do matter.  So, 
perhaps it makes sense think about what it took to make 
these matter ... and I for one would argue that the
80:20 rule was important in making SGML matter in the
form of HTML and XML, making 4GL matter in the form of VB,etc. 

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