Tim Bray's Life is Complicated

by Rick Jelliffe

Tim Bray wrote a post Life is Complicated that is directly addressed to me. Tim was, as usual, thoughtful and exemplary, and emailed his main points for comment before going public. (He had said I was ignoring the elephant in the room, and I had replied that there was more than one elephant, which he put in his post I was glad to see.) I'll address some of his points in another post, but I wanted to clear up something first:


2007-01-25 10:04:14
Tim is living a bit in the past these days. I don't think he understands the rules for local choice regimes or more to the point, the job he has now won't let him be honest about that.

The problem for Microsoft is that they cannot propose a specification for a technology based on their own products which cannot work with those products. Those products have become complex by years of an organic process of features selections (complexity is a property of a space of choices; simplicity is property of choices made).

If the XML punditry want to engage in Spy Vs Spy, have at, but I don't believe a religious crusade for simplicity masking a crusade for market share at the inflection point of retooling does much to establish credible experts to be followed without looking critically at the forces creating the regime of the choice itself.

In effect, existing Microsoft users will be better served with the XML standards and specifications they propose. Anyone retooling at the point of inflection has to determine if the features offered by two competing systems match their requirements then, which of the two (given two, there may be more) offers the best price point over the lifecycle assumed in the requirements specification.

That is something we can do without the Spy vs Spy of the standards groups who seem to have lost their way among the thorns of large company sponsorships and small minority ego battles.

It is a values struggle and that is always a local choice.