Re: Real value (was implementing single-source) (Long)

Subject: Re: Real value (was implementing single-source) (Long)
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2000 10:48:11 -0800

Dan Emory wrote:

> Andrew's Luddite tirade below against "infrastructure" and
> the XML approach is the old economy way of looking at
> things. The old way will survive only in small old-economy
> companies who cannot (or won't) pay the cost of admission.
> ===========================================
> At 09:51 AM 11/9/00 -0800, Andrew Plato wrote:
> >Everytime I hear somebody tell me how something is "industry standard" or "a

> >universal requirement" my first reaction is to laugh. As if any one technology
> >or solution ever could (or should) get so much power. Its absurd. Worldwide
> >adoption of XML is not inevitable.
> >

>From where I sit (in the middle, with old eggs being thrown at me
from either side), both these positions seem to use a reductio ad
absurdum argument. In other words, both Dan and Andrew are taking
their arguments to ridiculous extremes.

Dan: Andrew is not being a Luddite because he questions whether
everything new is progress (or, rather, he is, if you take a
historical perspective, but he's not in the sense that you mean).
Given our modern myth of progress and the consumer-based assumption
that anything new must be better than what already exists, being
careful about adapting new technologies is only sensible. After
years of rushing to upgrade to the newest software, the computer
world is finally starting to excercise a little caution.

Andrew: Despite Dan's enthusiasm, you're taking skepticism too far.
Although, like you, I question whether XML will become a universal
standard, it remains a very powerful and useful tool. I'd hate to
see people reject the possibility of using it simply because some of
its advocates are overly enthusiastic. In addition, whenever users
switch to something different, there's going to be a transition
period. While a company shouldn't undergo this transition close to
deadline, to imply that the confusion of this transition reflects
the technology rather than the transition is misleading. At any
rate, it never hurts to investigate something new, even if you
decide to reject it.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7189 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"The king works backwards, day and night,
Says you went left when you should have gone right,
Try to do undo what you've once done wrong,
The king works backwards all day long."
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