Re: On working with existing systems

From: Grant Bowman (
Date: Sun Aug 27 2000 - 23:15:30 PDT

* Henry van Eyken <> [000826 12:01]:
> On August 12, I was - probably properly - chastised for addressing this
> very issue on ohs-dev. I may have offended by writing as an ordinary
> user.

Community in progress...

> Actually, I went beyond the issue of mere data storage to also look at
> "electronic thinking." Question: Will the ohs eventually develop to
> include electronic thinking processes such as evaluating and digesting
> ideas expressed? And thereby raise its value as a tool for augmenting
> the human intellect? I guess this is more an issue for unrev-II - for
> the time being.
> [...]

I am coming to form a perhaps unpopular opinion on this.

   - segmentation -

With a little trust on both parts, I think the coders here can start on
short term items. Later, as the longer term ideas are more well defined,
they can be passed along. I don't know if this segmentation should take
place through a seperate email list, or just by agreement that there are
at least these two viewpoints (long and short term) and that both can
co-exist. I think that there are discussions that are in such seperate
directions we have to acknowledge this and not allow our discussions to
get muddled.

unrev-II might also include another horizon level of discussion -
facilitated thought. I am sure that the different perspectives on such
a large project are helpful and will build on each other as more results
are shown at present.

Short term we realize we need to make concessions. Some code may be
thrown away, but if we get something we can use ASAP, that's a worthy
goal. Those that think that the future is here today can show the rest
of the folks who doubt it. We already have some sample XML and that
specification is being improved. This is the central part of the OHS -
where everything goes to or comes from in different ways.

Long term we realize that there are many steps needed to get there that
are not defined yet. The short term steps may look like they are
backwards, but over time as real solutions present themselves, these
will overtake and supercede the present implementation. Those that
think we aren't ready yet can later say "I told you it is better than we
could have done previously."

I see another orthogonal dimension of discussion: XML input and XML
output (including XSL, CSS, etc.) These are two vastly different
processes. If we are all certain that XML is the intermediate, I think
we can all focus on the specifications of the XML from different
perspectives. I think this is certainly possible today and clearly
valuable in moving things forward.

-- Grant Bowman                         
-- SuSE                                    +1-510-628-3380 x5027
-- 580 Second Street, Suite 210              fax +1-510-628-3381
-- Oakland, CA  94607              

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