Re: WWW/Internet 2009: 2nd CFP until 21 September

From: paul c <>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2009 23:48:14 GMT
Message-ID: <2l2gm.38551$Db2.32873_at_edtnps83>

Walter Mitty wrote:
> "paul c" <> wrote in message
> news:DQ%fm.38526$Db2.3469_at_edtnps83...
>> I admit I can't take the question very seriously.

> You might be right.
> I'm leaning towards the idea that RM and XML are at different levels of
> abstraction, and that comparing the two of them for benefits and drawbacks
> is about like arguing about whether the soup is hot or the sky is blue. I'm
> just wondering why the internet conference has got a whole track devoted to
> XML, and not a peep about RM.

Heh, I definitely think they are in different classes, one sets out a fairly big problem and deals with most of it and the other is a small patch of blue pretending to encompass the sky. I can't remember the first xml 'paper' I saw, but by comparison with say, Codd's 1970 paper, one just has to be struck by thinness of the sentences in thick xml descriptions and the thickness of the sentences in Codd's rather skinny papers.

The IT industry, which certainly includes most of academia and possibly false fronts like IADIS is much like any other realm, the least important subjects usually make the most noise. Oldtimers like us (that's a compliment, not an insult) must remember that IT has always been like this, almost constantly promoting some supposed idea of tomorrow to distract the cheque writers from today's problems. Other industries do the same thing, but not as often, for example, accountants come up with the next big financial perspective every half-or-third-generation or so, just long enough for a new business cycle to take hold and then go bust. The ideas are usually retreads that go back several generations so that most people can't remember and recognize them.

I've met very few history majors in IT but I must say I thought the few I knew were just as useful as most other people. I don't know why there are so few as most historians could enter IT and increase their income more than most chemists. Maybe it's harder now, when I started programming there were few computer science degrees, the main qualifications were to be semi-literate and a quick study, glibness didn't hurt. Come to that I think that a field that pays even worse than history, namely anthropology would be just as good a background as most of the computer science curricula I used to watch until about ten years ago. Received on Mon Aug 10 2009 - 18:48:14 CDT

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