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OT: good design vs evolveability (was TAG "Architecture of the W orld Wide Web" new draft published)

From: Champion, Mike <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2002 14:01:24 -0700
Message-ID: <9A4FC925410C024792B85198DF1E97E4045D87C0@usmsg03.sagus.com>
To: www-ws-arch@w3.org

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Baker [mailto:distobj@acm.org]
> Sent: Friday, November 08, 2002 1:32 PM
> To: Champion, Mike
> Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org
> Subject: Re: TAG "Architecture of the World Wide Web" new draft
> published

> > Consensus is the only authority ... other than Father Darwin, 
> > the Invisible Hand, or however one wants to anthropomorphize the 
> > forces that ultimately determine whether some spec works in 
> the real world
> > :-)
> You mean "good design"? 8-)

See http://www.shirky.com/writings/evolve.html

"The network is littered with ideas that would have worked had everybody
adopted them. Evolvable systems begin partially working right away and then
grow, rather than needing to be perfected and frozen. Think VMS vs. Unix,
cc:Mail vs. RFC-822, Token Ring vs. Ethernet... 

Centrally designed protocols start out strong and improve logarithmically.
Evolvable protocols start out weak and improve exponentially. It's dinosaurs
vs. mammals, and the mammals win every time. The Web is not the perfect
hypertext protocol, just the best one that's also currently practical.
Infrastructure built on evolvable protocols will always be partially
incomplete, partially wrong and ultimately better designed than its
competition. "

I'm increasingly humble about how little we collectively understand about
distributed objects, document messaging, service-oriented architectures, and
how to leverage XML to make them work better.  I'm a lot more interested in
making the web services architecture evolveable to it can improve as we
experiment and learn than in making it "well designed" by today's criteria.
Received on Friday, 8 November 2002 16:01:58 UTC

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