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Action item on syntax-based interoperability

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 18:26:14 -0700
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-Id: <BA126E5E-042E-11D8-88F1-000A95A51C9E@textuality.com>

Here it is:

The Web is distinguished from many other information systems in that 
its important interfaces are defined, not in terms of APIs or data 
structures or object models, but in terms of syntax, by specifying the 
content and sequence of the messages interchanged.  It commonly occurs 
that programmers working with the Web write code directly to generate 
and parse these messages.  Even more unusually,  it is not uncommon for 
end-users to have direct exposure to these messages.  This leads to the 
well-known "view source" effect, whereby users gain expertise in the 
workings of the systems by direct exposure to the underlying protocols.

The general success of Web software is evidence that interoperability 
in networked information systems is best achieved by specifying 
interfaces at the level of concrete syntax rather than abstract data 
models or APIs.

Cheers, Tim Bray  http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/
Received on Tuesday, 21 October 2003 21:26:16 UTC

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