Radical computing thoughts: Data impedance & automatous computing

Clay Shirky clay@shirky.com
Mon, 29 Oct 2001 07:24:09 -0500 (EST)

> "worse is better" argues that it is of primary importance for a piece of
> software to have a relatively simple implementation, presumably for
> maintainability, correctness, and portability. 

Yep, and the XML argument extends that to "human readability trumps
machine efficiency." From my POV, almost anyone using XML is adopting
worse-is-better at least in part.

> However, it never occurred to me that the Web Services camp would be pushing
> this, since they promote very actively that the service protocols have to be
> very easy to understand and use, so that lots of people can write and use
> Web Services. 

Yes, this is one of the lies coming out of the BigCo world. (Don't
look now, here comes Winer to catigate me for even reading those
documents...) This will fail for the same reason the "Lets write a
programming language in English, so anyone can use it!" fails, namely
that the difficult part about programming is the rigor, not the
phrases used to express it.

> Which makes me wonder -- which wins out? Easy to use? Or easy to implement?

Don't think of it as 'which wins out?' because the answer is 'neither
wins outright, at least not for a while.' Both strategies will be
around for the next few years. The long money question is "which
evolves better over time?"