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Re: [ontolog-forum] vague wish lists VS formal specifications

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 02:12:13 -0500
Message-id: <45E52B4D.40005@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat and Evan,    (01)

Many tools and methodologies can make a major improvement
in productivity over the old ways of doing something:    (02)

PH> Robert Hoffman, who is our resident expert in this area
 > and uses Cmaps all the time. He also has used many other
 > techniques, and has some actual empirical figures of
 > concepts extracted per man-hour of analysis time which
 > seem to show quite consistently that the collaborative
 > Cmap construction technique (there is a whole methodology
 > to it) gets close to an order-of-magnitude improvement,
 > at least in the initial stages.    (03)

EW> Gets close to an order-of-magnitude improvement over
 > what other techniques/languages?  Please note, I'm not
 > arguing with these claims, just trying to understand them.    (04)

I won't quibble about the advantages of Concept Maps,
because I have recommended them myself from time to time.
But note that caveat "at least in the initial stages".
Do these techniques reach a plateau?    (05)

I'd like to quote a voice from the audience in a workshop
I attended many years ago:    (06)

    I've heard many claims about how one tool or another
    can make a tremendous improvement in productivity
    over the old methods.  And I agree that any one of
    those tools, by itself, does make a great improvement.    (07)

    But what they don't tell you is that any two of those
    tools together will kill you.    (08)

The point is that most tools and methodologies impose
a structure on the way the developers analyze their
problems and design their solutions.  Most of those
structures are significantly better than an ad hoc,
unstructured way of just sitting down and writing code.    (09)

But when you try to combine two different tools and
their associated methodologies, you get a structure clash.
Each one imposes a perspective on the problems and a way
of developing solutions that is incommensurate with the
perspectives and techniques of any other tools.    (010)

This kind of structure clash is a serious obstacle to the
adoption of new methodologies and integrating tools and
techniques from different sources (or even the same source
at different points in time).    (011)

John    (012)

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