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Subject: RE: Brave new world - was Re: Units of Measure

Robert Dakin: Monday, July 10, 2000
> XML has a lot going for it but, as William says, the basic
> business integration issues that make EDI expensive still
> remain.  However I think that we can afford to be optimistic
> about ebXML.
> In my view the dominant a2a business integration problems 
> have been:
> - the difficulty and cost of achieving truly usable interchange 
>   standards via X12/EDIFACT standards + MIGs and/or 
>   individual agreements, and
> - the fact that core business applications, especially those
>   intended for SME use, are generally not designed with a2a 
>   integration in mind;  you have to go through hoops to get 
>   transactions in and out.

If online exchanges, or ebXML, succeed in enumerating all the attributes 
of products and services sufficiently for a deep automation and 
reconcilation of divergent business models, it would be a human
and sociological breakthrough... from the Tao of Programming, 

> There was once a programmer who was attached to the court of
> the warlord of Wu. The warlord asked the programmer: "Which
> is easier to design: an accounting package or an operating
> system?"
> "An operating system," replied the programmer.
> The warlord uttered an exclamation of disbelief.
> "Surely an accounting package is trivial next to the complexity
> of an operating system," he said.
> "Not so," said the programmer, "when designing an accounting
> package, the programmer operates as a mediator between people
> having different ideas: how it must operate, how its reports
> must appear and how it must conform to tax laws. 

Much of business has always involved the use of superlatives, right up 
to the level of misrepresentation --or at least, active efforts not to 
disturb the illusion which, by the grace of god, some customer has been 
sent to you with.

There are systematic spreads between the actual, objective attributes 
including the monetary value of most things, and what the consumer is 
thinking and feeling when they buy it.  

Under this theory, destruction of these 'fantastic' spreads is destruction 
of intangible value, and only geeks believe that synchronizing everybodys' 
system is creation of wealth.

What we need is an XML vocabulary that lets the seller inflate values 
and attributes of their product, and the buyer deprecate it, all at the 
same time, and then insanely, execute the deal without ever agreeing on 
it.  Just like we do today, in shopping malls and auto showrooms and 
marital relations, all over the country.  

After 20 years in public accounting it's obvious to me, CPAs are 
mainly semantic police, who more or less compel individuals and businesses 
to characterize their transactions honestly, in order to get to a 
"correct" balance sheet, tax return, etc.   That's what ebXML will now
have to do; good luck,

TOdd Boyle CPA    http://www.GLDialtone.com/

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