Golbalization as a driver for XML: Bob Glushko podcast

by Rick Jelliffe

Bob is a really clear-thinking and enthusiastic guy, and one of most interesting to wine and dine with. His book Document Engineering is important for anyone who wants a better vision of where XML is leading us. I've just discovered the IT Conversations website, which has podcasts of various people of interest to me: Miguel de Icaza for example.

Bob's podcast has much of interest. An idea that hadn't registered with me before is that one of the drivers for (larger) business to adopt a document-engineering approach is because they need to componentize their business functions: a document doesn't care whether it goes to Florence, Bangalore or Kinshasa. Globalization as a driver for XML: that's a pretty strong driver.

Bob also has a blog with co-author Tim McGrath Doc or Die


2007-07-08 03:52:42
A document doesn't care? A culture or UI-culture attribute does.

For a human languagd, XML is the bottle. We get the Wine from Babelfish to fill in the XML-serialized data slots with the en or es or de or whatever translations and hope the guys at Altavista did a credible and not too much 'all your base are ours' job of it.

I don't buy that document componentization as a globalization lubricant hadn't registered with you yet. On the other hand, there may not be as much difference among the cultures of the world as there is between two professional occupations in the same building or even the same occupations if they went to different schools. How much time do you spend sorting out the different terms invented for the same ideas by different software companies engaged in the standards game? At this level, XML has become the equivalent of those language switches.

All loosely-coupled means is 'we don't have to care what you think about the data you send us unless it screws up something on our side that we actually notice'.

Rick Jelliffe
2007-07-08 06:47:27
Len: You're everywhere!

Not document componentization, but componentization of the corporation into globally relocatable operations, which then rely on more explicitly models document exchange.

2007-07-09 07:30:24
Yeah, that happens on the weekends when I work at home and can't sleep. You present the 'engaging' topics and when up before dawn, I can't resist.

Engineering at a distance: Distance introduces protocol. That distance may be spatial or it may be cultural. While practice and familiarity can break through cultural distance (a local culture emerges or simple habituation), spatial distance is harder. There is something about update rate and the loss of personal or cultural cues for authenticating that changes the process of acquiring trust.

In the late 80s, I asked one of the original SGMLers why we couldn't build factories in the then opening eastern european bloc. I was writing papers on enterprise engineering then (document engineering is a means to engineer an enterprise). She replied, "Because they have no money." It turns out that relocatable enterprise components look better on paper than they work in practice.

Over time, I've begun to resist outsourcing and 'engineering at a distance' because it is inefficient when care is a commodity. No matter how the costs work out in a static spreadsheet, the dynamics of communication at a distance introduce frictions of many kinds. A protocol has to enforce as much as enable and so far, we don't have that without human commitment and human relationship strength. We play at the idea that virtual worlds will increase these qualities by overcoming some of the spatial distance inhibitors and in the sense that simulation creates strong onset cues, this sort of works. Perhaps presentation matters more than we have been led to believe. :-)

Lejos de amor es para pinjeros. (Loosely: love from a afar is for fools and cuckholds.)

Antonio Ciccarone
2007-07-24 07:58:04
You didn't spell Globablization write in the title - you put Golbalization

2007-12-14 06:59:05