Is "simplicity" a useful architectural constraint?

However one may choose to characterize the architecture of the
web, there is universal agreement that qualitatively speaking,
it's pretty simple.

It's my opinion that this simplicity is one of the reasons it 
has worked to date.  Further, that this simplicity needs 
to be defended actively, since there are active pressures in
the direction of complexity creep.  The pressures range widely,
from vendors wanting to reduce the semantic gap between the Web
and their complex, overgrown data access protocols, to simple 
facts of life such as large working groups.

Trouble is, simplicity is not quantifiable so it's hard to
write rules.  But I think the Web and the W3C would both have
been well-served if at a couple of points in recent years 
some voice could have spoken ex cathedra saying "This is
too complicated.  Go back and throw some of it away or find
another way to fix the problem."  -Tim

Received on Wednesday, 2 January 2002 16:18:18 UTC