[rfc-i] draft-hildebrand-html-rfc

Martin Rex mrex at sap.com
Fri Jul 13 17:16:26 PDT 2012

Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
> Since none of us has been managing digital documents for 100 years, it
> follows that none of us can claim absolute knowledge of the problem.

I think this was not about knowing the future, rather than learning
from the past in order to avoid repeating _each_and_every_ mistake
of the past.

There exist many similar expressions for this.


or Antoine d'Exupery's "Perfection in design is achieved, not when there
is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

> Moreover, I think that people are going to discover that the process
> of curating digital documents in network accessible form is very
> different from the problem of curating mag tapes which in turn was
> very different from curating physical books and objects. I don't think
> curation of online documents should be considered a passive activity
> of preserving bits.

The huge advantage about printed copies is that the for the largest part
of the human population that the technology necessary to make this
archival format compatible to the humans optical sensory inputs is
at most a pair of glasses, if at all.  We know that humans have been
naturally equipped with the optical sensors of the type "eyes" for
millions of years, and they unlikely to drop out of our DNA quickly
or by accident in the next few hundred years.  (Glasses have been
around for more than a hundred years as well, and something functionally
equivalent will very very probably be with us for thousands of years,
because it serves much more (and vital) needs besides
"reading old books".

If you choose an approach to encode information in a fashion that
is (a) extremely complex and (b) so complex that no average human
being understands and uses it himself, then it is *BOUND* to be
superseded by something different in the future, and the ability
to comprehend it may get lost (and require a huge effort and the
discovery of a rosetta stone in order to process this stuff
a few hundred years into the future).

Do you know TAOCP

what programming language is used for code examples, and why?


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