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Subject: EDXL DE General Concern about lack of focus


I have some concerns related to the general structure of the DE and
particularly the kind of changes that seem to be on the table.

My fear is that we are trying to put way too much hard to parse
intelligence into the distribution element.  Its original purpose was to
separate distribution concerns from content concerns so that
distributors do not have to understand content to do effective
distribution.  When we recognized that sometimes different content
needed to be distributed together for the same purpose, we added the
capability of multiple content items within the distributed container.
If we are not careful we could slide down a slippery slope to the point
that the distribution element becomes an amalgamation device FOR content
instead of a decoupled distribution capability OF content.  I believe
that this would complicate efforts to use the element for its original
clear purpose, management of distribution.  My point: too many good
ideas might actually endanger the real value that we wish to provide. 
So, please look at what we have done with that thought in mind.  As soon
as Sylvia is finished with her write-up, I intend to re-read our
structure with its original focus in mind.  I request that all of us
recognize that we will be more effective if we keep amalgamation and
distribution decoupled.  Amalgamation is temptingly convenient at the
distribution level.  But it also confuses issues. We could always do a
separate amalgamation element at a later date to handle assembly
management when information is shipped together.  


Gary A. Ham 
Senior Research Scientist
Battelle Memorial Institute
540-288-5611 (office)
703-869-6241 (cell)
"You would be surprised what you can accomplish when you do not care who
gets the credit." - Harry S. Truman

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