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Re: Proposed restatement of syntax-based interoperability principle ( was RE: Action item on syntax-based interoperability)

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 16:09:47 -0600
To: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-Id: <1067292586.26797.37.camel@dirk.dm93.org>

On Thu, 2003-10-23 at 18:07, Champion, Mike wrote:
> Dan Connolly wrote:
> 
> > If you find a moment to suggest an elaboration/revision, I'd
> > appreciate it.
> 
> 
> 
> I strongly agree with Dan that the current proposal overstates the case for
> syntax-based interoperability. Here is how I would handle Tim's action item
> in some parallel universe where it was assigned to me:

Thanks for taking a concrete stab. This goes too far in the
other direction, I think, but I like the statement of the
thesis:

> The standardized, textual "bits on the wire" definition of important
> standards such as HTTP, HTML, and XML has contributed greatly to the success
> of the Web.


Let's see what happens if I mix that with
the text Bray offered Tue, 21 Oct 2003 18:26:14 -0700
and salt to taste:


---8<---
The Web follows the Internet tradition of having
its important interfaces 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.  It is a bit less usual, though not altogether
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.

Widespread APIs such as the Simple API for XML (SAX) greatly
facilitate the development of Web software, and XPath and XQuery
show the importance of abstract data models. And quality assurance
can have as much impact on interoperability as any of these factors
or more. But the technology that is shared between agents
in the Web lasts longer than the agents themselves. Web Architecture
has been successful in focussing on concrete syntax and protocols
shared between Agents.
---8<---

Hmm... I think that's an improvement, but I'm not sure I'm
quite happy with it.

-- 
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Monday, 27 October 2003 17:14:35 GMT

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