RE: The Airplane Example (was Re: Streaming X ML)
And while we know most of this by rough experience, the following is fascinating reading relative to Ken's post. http://www.tdan.com/i030hy01.htm What does and doesn't work. Worthy of some XML-Dev permathread amplification of worse-is-better, but really, discovery based systems work better than deep C2. The airplane starts out as a kite with an engine. Then spiral development/evolution takes over. As long as one can afford the knowledge maintenance, this keeps working. At some point, gaps start to show up in the system because externalities (an economics term) begin to cause costs to rise (see the airline/union lawsuits) and then the system which is complex, therefore sensitive, begins to fail. Eventually, a Saturn V would have blown up just as the Shuttle failed and other non-manned systems failed under the 'cheaper, faster, better' approach. Network effects are peculiar that way. CoT chopped it down to just the essential bits. That works for awhile, or at least, it gets enough networked nodes talking and doing useful work while the non-real time powers negotiate the more complex transactions. It isn't that You Ain't Gonna Need It but You Ain't Gonna Need It First so Do What You Know Until You Are Sure of What You Don't Know. Then it is, what can you afford? A very real reason for moving to markup even before XML was attempting to solve the complexity problems of maintaining large aggregate systems. If the cost of the document system goes up with the cost of the system that it documents, you have a classic strongly linked cluster problem. For want of a nail, etc. To answer Rick Marshall: simplifying XML will be better than making it more complex. But the costs haven't been justified. Just as some want to make it simpler, others such as Jakob Nielsen are discovering that linktypes could be better using all the tricks we knew 20 years ago before he started filing patents. The only question a poor man asks is 'who pays'? If the network effect takes over, everyone does, eventually although the first mover pays the most. But network effects usually don't happen for complex designs and that is the winnowing or Darwinian effect also known as churn. It's a piece of cake to keep a 66 Beetle running if you can get the parts. It's not so easy to keep a IBM 360 series running even if you can get the parts. That is, value is not only money; it is utility. len From: Bill de hOra [mailto:bill.dehora@p...] I'm with Karl and Len. I received a mechanical chronometer last year from my family. It's hands down the finest object I have ever had, and I fully expect it will outlast me. It serves a constant reminder about simplicity and robustness. Paul Graham said once that you can buy a more accurate and functionful modern watch for the fraction of the cost of a something like a mechanical chronometer. I think that's true, but it's also missing the point in some thing like the way meat market IT and tools-will-save-us arguments miss the point.
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