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

Subject: Re: Real value (was implementing single-source) (Long)
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2000 11:05:32 -0800 (PST)

--- Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com> wrote:

> 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.

I totally agree Bruce. I am not rejecting XML out of hand. It is actually very
cool. It is also quite powerful and has many uses.

What I reject is this attitude among some writers to perpetuate this insidious
diversionary tactic. They obsess night and day over finding new ways to do
their job when they cannot handle the basics of writing. So rather than better
themselves and learn how to write better - they obsess over building systems
that promise better writing systems.

I am reminded of pretentious writers who sit in coffeehouses stroking their
goatees sipping lattes and pontificating over the great novel they may, someday
write. If you want to be a writer - WRITE. Nothing can replace a writer using
his/her mind to build a comprehensible document.

Documentation management systems are huge, complex, and often excessive. They
just give writers another excuse to avoid their real job. I've yet to see one
work well.

So, yes. Caution is the name of the game now. Before we all jump on the latest
and greatest, lets remember what really matters:

- Companies must make a profit.
- People, not machines, must have control.
- Responsibility and accountability cannot be lost.

Andrew Plato

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