[sc34wg3] Re: Public Interest and ISO WAS: [topicmapmail] <mergeMap> questions

Sam Hunting sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Thu, 25 Oct 2001 12:09:53 -0700 (PDT)

> So what we need to do is not to make no changes ever, but to be very
> disciplined about the changes we do make.

Here at least I am in vehement agreement with Lars. When I wrote:

> | So, what does "stability" mean in this context? Well, the apple
> | cart could be "stable" if it were unmoving in a ditch by the side 
> | of the road. No one wants that. The apple cart could be "stable" if
> | it were stuck in the middle of the road and not going anywhere. No 
> | one wants that. Or the apple cart could be "stable" if it were 
> | making steady progress down the road -- taking apples to a market,
> | for example ;-) That's what I want, at least. 

The point -- and I insist it is completely clear ;-) -- was to learn
how to manage change while keeping the cart steady (and bringing topic
maps to market).

> To make changes continually and fundamentally, on the other hand, is
> something I just don't think we can do. Patrick Durusau likes the
> example of Unicode. Well, one thing in Unicode that will never EVER
> change, even though it is certainly broken from some points of view,
> is the assignments of characters to code points. New ones can be
> added, but the existing ones will never go away or change.

Apparently a massive dogfight between two ethnic groups over which
group's character set would its code points closer to zero (that is,
"first") held up progress on the spec for a long time ... There's a
lesson for us there somewhere.


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