From: Dave Long (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Oct 25 2000 - 08:21:46 PDT
> Of course he's right. It's a mess. Which means client-side XML will
> not get here soon and HTML will live forever. And and I will win my
> 2050 bet with Dave Long. Yum.
I wouldn't have taken that bet on the strength of XML; instead
I'm betting on the relative shortness of "forever" in datacomm
In terms of the original 2100 bet (truncated for the obvious
reason), we can look back to 1900 practices, and the Murray
code. Even at 1950, with ITA2, the coding is still (unlike
ASCII and modern expansions) optimized in terms of mechanical
rather than digital concerns.
From Tom Jennings' history of character codes:
> Murray's criteria was to minimize the number of
> mechanical operations per character; the most
> common characters have codes that contain the
> fewest number of 0-to-1 transistions. The letter
> E, with only one of five bit positions having
> a 1, moves only one bit's worth of mechanism
> per character; and punches only one hole in a
> paper tape (one lever, one punch/die movement),
> reducing wear on the machinery, no small matter
> when you consider that a single-spaced, typed
> page of text is approximately 2000 characters,
> or more than 10,000 character "bits", each bit
> having at least one mechanical component that
> moves, needs oiling, adjustment, etc.
and speaking of bitrot, anyone know where Henry
Baker's papers can be found post-ftp.netcom.com?
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