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Re: [ontolog-forum] Please thread the discussion

To: "Pat Hayes" <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Barker, Sean (UK)" <Sean.Barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 09:43:53 -0000
Message-id: <E18F7C3C090D5D40A854F1D080A84CA47A236C@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

See below    (01)

Sean Barker
Bristol, UK    (02)

This mail is publicly posted to a distribution list as part of a process
of public discussion, any automatically generated statements to the
contrary non-withstanding. It is the opinion of the author, and does not
represent an official company view.    (03)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Pat Hayes [mailto:phayes@xxxxxxx] 
> Sent: 07 November 2007 18:02
> To: Barker, Sean (UK)
> Cc: [ontolog-forum] 
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Please thread the discussion    (04)

> >Thus, while it may be annoying that some of us don't use 
> software based 
> >on 'professional standard', it is also a reminder that 
> ontology could 
> >go the same way, and that the semantic web may well be 
> dominated by the 
> >first ontology that is good enough, where 'good enough' means 
> >'profitable for a set of companies with significant web presence'.
> The bad thing is the following sequence:
> 1. A standard is set and publicly announced 2. The standard 
> gets used reasonably widely 3. One company deliberately or 
> carelessly uses an incompatible standard    (05)

 - Multiple companies declare their own standards, all of which are
claimed as open, all of which are incompatible;
 - A company point blank refuses to implement a standard, and uses IPR
rights to its interface to stop other companies publishing a standards
based interface;
 - A company claims conformance to an interface standard, however what
is meant is that, while it is possible to translate an input or an
output to that standard, on a round trip (input followed by output)
information or functionality disappears - i.e. the vendor ignores the
pragmatics of the standard.    (06)

Standards and their use can be very political, and software vendors can
be either very open or very resistant to implementing standards (table
banging by major customers non-withstanding). There is also,
unfortunately, a large gap in understanding between the user company
techies who have to implement systems and the CEOs who have the power to
set policy on what systems are bought, a gap which major software
vendors have been known to exploit.    (07)

(I could not prevent you from inferring that I work in the war zone.)    (08)

> This isn't so bad (think of Java):
> 1. One company creates a product which is widely used 2. 
> Other companies use it also 3. It is endorsed by standards bodies.
> I see no reason to think that SW ontologies will be on the 
> first rather than the second track.
>     (09)

Equally, I see no reason to think that SW ontologies will be on the
second rather than the first track. However, having followed the
discussions on this forum for several months, I can see people finding
such a result extremely annoying. Which is why I would advocate the
approach of the secret martial art of Llapp Goch "Get your revenge in
before your enemy even knows you exist".    (010)

> Pat    (011)

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