Re: the passing of a champion

From: paul c <>
Date: Sat, 04 Jul 2009 17:32:48 GMT
Message-ID: <4nM3m.34817$PH1.23399_at_edtnps82>

Keith H Duggar wrote:
> The World Wide Web is built on seriously flawed theoretical in-
> formation models. Instead of regarding information as fundamen-
> tally relational, such that it could have been modeled using the
> relational model invented by Edgar Codd and developed and ex-
> tended by thousands of researchers to fully replace the concep-
> tually flawed hierarchical and network models employed in early
> databases, the WWW has practically resurrected these ancient,
> flawed ideas and made them even less functionally and theoreti-
> cally sound. The result in practical terms is that extremely
> complex access paths must be traversed for even the simplest re-
> lations and monumental amounts of text must be generated, trans-
> ferred, and parsed in order to isolate the small relevant pieces
> of a complete web page mostly suitable for eye balls after mas-
> sive amounts of processing and rendering to boot. By making each
> datum extremely difficult to access, we can simply forget design
> ing a general system of relational operators on these relations,
> and the development of the large number of processing tools at-
> tests to the fact that a general, universal model is not even
> within conceptual reach. The problem, then, is that describing
> complex access paths with a reasonable theory is a huge waste of
> time when a simple and elegant theory exists and only requires
> that the information be organized in a much simpler way. The net
> effect of these flawed models is, ironically, that information
> that is originally stored in relational databases is packaged
> and transmitted in a non-relational way that makes unpacking the
> relations arduous, tedious, and error-prone. The WWW has turned
> what is typically already open information into closed informa-
> tion through sheer lack of intelligence and insight into infor-
> mation science and has forced what could have been simple quer-
> ies in a straight-forward language into massive amounts of ran-
> dom guesswork.
> Erik Naggum
> 2009-03-29

Interesting to see a language apostle echoing some of what Codd said. Of course the historical view is that the fools paradise of unnecessarily rigid and redundant structures and idiosyncratic application interfaces will be dismantled only with several changes of generation. Some people say even one of the essential breakthroughs, the hyperlink, wasn't even a www invention. Granted, it was a sensible insight that a 'world-wide-web' needs a standard but the choice of a formatting-oriented standard,namely html, looks more and more like a stupidity that will go down as one of history's worst. A poor choice of standard is worse than no standard at all because it encourages amateurish and mindless perpetuation. I'll bet Noel Coward could have done better, at least he had the grace to turn down a knighthood. Received on Sat Jul 04 2009 - 19:32:48 CEST

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