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Re: [ontolog-forum] Current Semantic Web Layer Cake

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <kuldar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Valentin Zacharias <Zacharias@xxxxxx>, Juan Sequeda <juanfederico@xxxxxxxxx>, SW-forum list <semantic-web@xxxxxx>
From: Duane Nickull <dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2007 09:49:42 -0700
Message-id: <C2DC9F36.51D8%dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>

On 8/3/07 8:16 PM, "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:    (01)

> Kuldar and Valentin,
> I wholeheartedly agree:
>> It is not possible to solve the interoperability problem
>> by imposing a set of standards "from above".  The world is
>> too diverse a place to assume that everyone is going to
>> use them.
> The best standards are the ones that develop "from below"
> through widespread use.    (02)

DN: I disagree with this.  It is not nearly as important how a standard was
developed as long as the standard serves the community.  If it serves and
achieves widespread use, then it is of value.  There are several examples of
top-down approaches that work such as UML, HTTP, CSS, XML etc.    (03)

I used to have this discussion about XML all the time.  Some people
advocated that XML written with formal modeling was superior to XML written
ad hoc.  While in general I would agree that modeling (or at least
thinking/analyzing) before creating XML is a best practice, at runtime, an
application parsing XML does not know or care what process was used to
create it.  One cannot issue a blanket statement stating that <a certain XML
standard> is better than another one simply for the development methodology
without defining some key metrics.    (04)

> Then the job of the standards
> committees is to recognize what is already being used,
> to tidy up the details, and to solidify the foundations.    (05)

DN: This is referred to as "forensic architecture" and is a thankless,
painful job that hurts the ego, bruises fruit and frightens small children.
Seriously, I did this in ebXML and again in the W3C and later in OASIS for
SOA.  Standards work well when they do and fail when they are irrelevant.
EbXML is largely irrelevant now as the marketing failed although technically
it has a lot of merit.  It was designed from both top-down and bottom up
perspectives.  The core functionality lives on in the WS-* set of standards.    (06)

> That is why I was so appalled by the idea of proposing a
> standard for syntax with the semantics left up for grabs.
> We should have well-defined standards for systems that have
> proven their value in practical applications and widely
> available implementations.    (07)

DN: won't argue with this.  This is definitely a page form my book on best
practices.    (08)

Cheers    (09)

"Speaking only for myself"
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