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Re: Rule of Least Power

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2006 19:30:40 -0500
Message-Id: <3A9D1C6F-CA2C-4E01-9C53-F24F28E87BE7@w3.org>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
To: "Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)" <RogerCutler@chevron.com>

Hmmm. Maybe it comes across wrong.
I don't think the message is so much about programming procedural  
things using
declarative languages and tricks.  There is a common theme that the  
information
should be analyzable.

Have you given up using CSS? CSS is declarative -- not a general  
functional programming language, but a specific set of declarations  
you can make about style.  It is generally in its target application  
space simpler and clearer than the XSLT to do the same thing.

Tim




On Mar 7, 2006, at 10:36, Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler) wrote:

> Last month a reference to the "Rule of Least Power" appeared in  
> some AC-Member emailing and, since I found it pretty interesting, I  
> gave it some exposure in Chevron.  I regret to tell you that what  
> response it got was of a sort that you would probably consider  
> "unintended consequences".  That is, the principle was applied to  
> support positions that were probably not really what you had in  
> mind when you formulated it.  In particular, not a single comment  
> that it provoked had anything whatsoever to do with declarative  
> languages.
>
> In general, it seems to me that the thrust of your intention is to  
> encourage the use of declarative languages.  My personal experience  
> with this, for what it is worth, has not been positive -- in the  
> sense that I have not been able to get any substantial uptake among  
> my user community other than a few isolated enthusiasts.  It seems  
> that, in practice, the learning curve tends to be too high.  In  
> addition, there is a tendency for the scope of what is being done  
> to creep, and then you either start using some extremely obscure  
> constructions into the declarative language or you give up and re- 
> do it using a complete, procedural language.
>
> Frankly, I used to try to follow the Rule of Least Power and I gave  
> up.
>
Received on Friday, 10 March 2006 00:30:56 GMT

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