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RE: Is W3C Technology Fragmented or Unified?

From: Geoff Deering <gdeering@acslink.net.au>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 07:48:02 +1000
To: "Patrick Lauke" <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>, "WAI-IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NBBBJPNFCLNLAADCLFJBCELCHDAA.gdeering@acslink.net.au>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Patrick Lauke
> > From: Geoff Deering
> [...]
> > I know I have enough on my hands just trying to keep up with basic W3C
> > technologies.  Whose the guru who has all this encapsulated
> > in a vision
> > *AND* really knows how to deploy all this in one CMS?
> I don't think it's realistic anymore to expect one single guru to know
> all these things, but having separate groups of developers within the
> organisation with good experience of one of the technologies. You want
> a system at the core which is modular, and can deliver the various
> markup solutions based on a shared pool of resources (be it XML, an RDBM,
> web service interfaces to complex - and legacy - enterprise systems, etc).
> I think somebody mentioned Cocoon. That's certainly one of the ways I
> can see this moving towards. Again, you wouldn't ask a single
> guru to develop
> your very own, in house version of a Cocoon-like system plus all the
> various output modules. You'd get a concerted effort to get a central
> framework in place, but making sure that it can indeed be expanded in
> future to output any standard formats - ideally rolling them out
> one by one
> (saying from the start that you need
> xhtml,xml,svg,rdf,atom,kitchensinkML,etc
> is not a realistic proposition, and the decision-makers need to
> be made aware
> that this is the case).
> However, I don't think that the opposite trend - having a single
> monolithic
> super markup language that does everything (and includes the
> complete DTD of
> kitchensinkML) is a viable alternative either. I do see the need
> for separate
> languages for separate purposes. It's true, however, that we need
> to be careful
> not to get lost in the see of similar-but-not-quite ones (RSS vs
> Atom, and all their
> separate versions)
> Just thinking out loud. Not really an answer to your question, I know...
> Patrick

Yes, your reply was what I would expect as representative of a pretty well
informed web developer aware of these issues.  That covers what I think is
an essentialised approach to these issues.

Neither extreme seems a viable path, but some balanced middle ground
approach that makes sure that where there is a need to deploy something new
it is done with a full awareness of a unified software engineering

There is also issues that concern me because I often feel that there are
people working on these recommendations that have never worked with the
architecture of large scale CMSs, and in this regards, without having that
expertise, they can be creating a lot of problems for those trying to build
the software to deploy these solutions.  For instance, how do you extract
semantic information for OWL/RDF automatically from stored content in large
content repositories and distribute it dynamically?

I have really just asked this question, not for it to be answer, so much,
but rather to just gauge others opinions of the current evolution.

Geoff Deering
Received on Wednesday, 25 August 2004 21:48:08 UTC

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