[unrev-II] re: XML, Xanadu - Unrelated comments thereupon

From: John \ (johnwerneken@netzero.net)
Date: Sat Apr 15 2000 - 04:46:47 PDT

  • Next message: Eric Armstrong: "Re: [unrev-II] GOOD: Traction, by Twisted Systems"

    Entirely agree! Clearly stated!

    (SNIP is below)

    Message: 7
       Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 09:48:43 -0000
       From: malcolmdean@earthlink.net
    Subject: XML, Xanadu - Unrelated comments thereupon

    XML: I fail to see the strength of earlier criticisms of XML. If Lisp
    made so much sense, where were the popular tools and products to
    excite the hungry masses? Why didn't its proponents leap at the
    opportunity presented by the Web? At least, instead of throwing
    stones we can now throw clearly marked stones and discuss the meaning
    of "stone" until the cows come home. It's not important that
    representation of meaning presents a problem to some philosophers. It
    is important that we are beginning to hurl meaning around the world.
    Civilization arrives on the 'net.

    Civilization is always associated with some form of literature.
    Literature uses words to express meaning - both always imprecise and
    multi-dimensional. So here we have the revenge of the literary nerds
    upon the dominant mathematical paradigm in computing. To anyone with
    a literary background, tags make perfect sense because the very
    imperfections and bias of the tags also convey great meaning.

    The "X" stands for extensible. This technology is going to grow in
    unanticipated ways and transform the planetary network (meaning more
    than the Internet).

    Xanadu: I hope I don't start a wholly war here, but why is this idea
    so crucial to the future of computing and humanity? The future,
    surely, is not text-based (see The Matrix), and Amaya implements some
    of the same ideas. On the one hand, we have doubts expressed about
    XML because tags are a dubious representation of knowledge, and on
    the other we have the assertion that lack of a hyper-text processor
    is what ales us. Having studied the Declaration of Independence via
    Xanadu, one still must sit down and communicate a fairly linear
    narrative explaining the meaning one finds there. Like the Founders,
    I'm heading for the pub.

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