[rfc-i] reject the past ( was Re: Fwd: New Version Notification for draft-flanagan-plaintext-00.txt)

"Martin J. Dürst" duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp
Fri Jun 27 01:21:12 PDT 2014


On 2014/06/27 00:43, Dave Crocker wrote:
> On 6/24/2014 2:37 PM, George, Wes wrote:
>> On 6/24/14, 3:29 PM, "Dave Crocker" <dhc at dcrocker.net> wrote:
>>>   The document essentially
>>> makes ascii art of questionable utility.
>>
>> WG] No, that happened as soon as something better was widely available,
>> many, many years ago. This is just admitting that such newfangled
>> technology exists and pretty much works. ;-)
>
> This nicely demonstrates a basic problem in these discussions, namely
> ignoring demonstrated utility over many years.
>
> It encourages embracing whatever shiny new capability attracts us now,
> rather than considering carefully the trade-offs between whatever
> benefits have been present in the long-standing capability, versus
> whatever is appealing about a new capability.

Compared to line diagrams, ASCII art is the newcomer. Already Archimedes 
(e.g. in sand) and Leonardo da Vinci and many others of lesser fame used 
line diagrams, with demonstrated utility, way before anybody came up 
with crutch ASCII art.

And I don't think that the people who invented ASCII art, and those who 
started to use it in the IETF, thought about it as progress when 
compared to line drawings, but rather as temporary and suboptimal.

Of course, humans are creatures of habit, and there's some selection 
effect (e.g. more visually oriented people will tend to end up at the 
W3C rather than at the IETF), and that explains most of this discussion.

Regards,   Martin.


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