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[ontolog-forum] "Is the Web still the Web?"

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Christopher Spottiswoode" <cms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 18:56:12 +0200
Message-id: <039c01c8e11b$9a123430$0100a8c0@Dev>
Here is but one example of many recent calls for something 
radically different from Internet-based applications as we have to 
suffer them at present:    (01)

http://weblog.infoworld.com/fatalexception/archives/2008/07/is_the_web_stil.html    (02)

Neil McAllister draws our attention to some of the more evident 
ways in which, with RIAs or Rich Internet Applications, the Web 
has diverged awkwardly from its original simplicity.  He concludes 
with these two paragraphs:    (03)

"These distinctions invite important questions.  Is it still the 
Web if it's not really hypertext?  Is it still the Web if you 
can't navigate directly to specific content?  Is it still the Web 
if the content can't be indexed and searched?  Is it still the Web 
if you can only view the application on certain clients or 
devices?  Is it still the Web if you can't view source?    (04)

"Equally important, if today's RIAs no longer resemble what we 
would call the Web, then is shoehorning those applications into 
the Web's infrastructure really the right way to go?  If 
application developers feel limited by the constraints of 
standards-compliant browser technologies, should they really be 
targeting their applications for the browser?  Or is the problem 
that the client platforms simply aren't evolving fast enough to 
meet our needs?  The debate on these issues is only just 
beginning."    (05)

As you will see in the still forthcoming 5th instalment of my 
"MACK basics" series, the MACK AOS or Application Operating System 
is in effect a proposed realization of the kind of alternative 
application platform which McAllister might have in mind.  It 
represents a clean break, based on many philosophical, 
architectural and technical considerations, some of which were 
identified by my recent post to this list, now at 
which did at least hold out the prospect of a spectacular 
vindication of the expectations of believers in the central role 
of ontologies in our future applications.    (06)

(In case you have missed it in all my verbiage on this list, the 
MACK AOS is designed to replace the Web browser and the email 
client, along with many other familiar features of present 
distributed applications.  I have not tried to argue that point 
yet, as I have long preferred to await the effect of following 
what I call "Medawar's Dictum", namely that "Theories are not 
displaced by facts, they are replaced by better theories."  I am 
hoping - and boldly intending - that with the 5th instalment you 
will start seeing more clearly just how the anticipated 
MACK-compliant ecosystem will cleanly replace and spectacularly 
surpass the unhappy present modes of our Internet-leveraging 
existence.  (And yes, I am sorry, this is more mere verbiage, but 
I am hoping that that 5th instalment will finally deserve all this 
build-up to it!  Its subtitle, by the way, is this: "from simple 
elements to building applications".))    (07)

Christopher    (08)

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