Sunday, January 15, 2006

Dilbert mentions webservices

I've seen several technology blogs in the past couple of weeks mentioning Dilbert's New Year's Eve cartoon.

[Chuck Allen, Dan Cresswell, Chris Ferris, Anil John, Justin Thorp, Scott Yang - and I think there may have been a couple more but the blogging searches are often incomplete - search blogger, search bloglines, search technorati]

The cartoon is in three frames. Web service standards are mentioned in the first frame. The second frame discusses the bureaucracy of a particular (fictional) organization for participating in any standard initiative.

The third frame then asks: "Do these exist?" I read this as a wistful statement by a bureaucrat about the perfect bureaucracy. But some web services folk have apparently read this as a cynical statement about the existence of web service standards themselves.

One of the great advantages of being a humorist [see Dilbert's own blog] is that you can produce something that can mean different things to different people. A cartoon is whatever makes someone laugh (or think) - and this becomes the true meaning of the cartoon, regardless whether this reflects the original intention of the author. Whereas ...

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