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Re: [ontolog-forum] Asynchronous processes -- was NASA-Ontolog OKDMS

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 02 Nov 2007 09:53:41 -0500
Message-id: <472B39F5.2080203@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Matthew and Wacek,    (01)

I agree:    (02)

MW> You can talk at least about 4D ontologies without
 > talking about clocks, before and after are all you need.
 > Clocks just provide a scale.    (03)

You can have 3D and 4D topologies without having metric spaces.
But that reinforces my fundamental point that axioms should be
introduced only as needed for the problem at hand.    (04)

WK> I would think that whether two systems run asynchronously or
 > synchronously is less dependent on the distance between them
 > as compared to their sizes (and what would you mean by that,
 > precisely?), but whether they communicate and need to wait for
 > each other's responses to perform their tasks.    (05)

I certainly agree.  That is why I said that message passing is
a more fundamental mechanism than clocks.    (06)

WK> With sufficiently fast and broad connections, or little demand
 > for real-time computation, small but distant systems can quite
 > successfully run in a synchronous manner.    (07)

I'm sorry if I gave the impression that size is significant.  The
basic point is that the dependencies enforced by message passing
are independent of both time and space representations.  See the
examples of Petri nets in the paper I cited:    (08)

    http://www.jfsowa.com/ontology/causal.htm    (09)

And by the way, before clocks became widely available, societies
used message passing for synchronization.  Church bells and the
town crier are typical mechanisms for synchronizing social events
without using clocks.  Until long-distance trains became common
in the 19th century, every town used its own local time.    (010)

These are more illustrations that the number of different
perspectives on any topic is open ended.  Therefore, detailed
axioms should be put in a mix-or-match collection of modules
that can be introduced as needed.    (011)

That is the difference between Unix and Windows.  Unix started
with a clean and simple framework, and put the options in a
library of reusable modules.  Windows puts everything *plus*
the kitchen sink in a single bloated boat.    (012)

People say that you can't argue with success.  I agree.  Look
at the latest version of Apple's OS.  They started with a Unix
base, and created a vastly simpler, more flexible, more powerful,
*and* easier-to-use system with a tiny fraction of the expense
and army of programmers.    (013)

That's how we should build ontologies.    (014)

John    (015)

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