Re: Web Technologies in a Tailspin

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From: Kragen Sitaker (
Date: Fri Aug 11 2000 - 12:47:21 PDT

Tomwhore is, of course, right. He's so right I quoted his email at It nearly made me cry, it was so

I think Dave needs to have people argue with him more often. He
doesn't seem to be used to it. Dave, if you post on FoRK, people will
argue with you. It's good for you. It helps you find out when you're
wrong. Try not to take offense.

I think Dave and Tomwhore have the right attitude. This is how the Web
was won --- TimBL implemented a fiercely simple hypertext system,
without transclusion fatlinks linkvaliditychecking payments or access
control. It also didn't integrate use TCP/IP efficiently.

He wasn't the only one --- the gopher guys were doing the same thing.
HTTP was just better at adapting and adding new functionality; see for Rohit's

So gopher died.

XML proper is simple. (Especially if you leave out DTDs, which are a
hideous tumor on the face of an otherwise attractive format.) Anyone
who can use HTML can use XML, although they might not be able to figure
out why.

XML with schemata and namespaces and XLink and XSL is not simple. XML
with a namespace --- <mydoc xmlns="">
--- is simple.

It's apparently not simple enough.

It looks like we're going to have to resign ourselves to a future where
software is only 90% interoperable, if we're going to get a world where
everyone is publishing XML documents.

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves
                -- Gandalf the Grey [J.R.R. Tolkien, "Lord of the Rings"]

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