[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] The Open Group SOA Ontology

To: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ed Barkmeyer <edbark@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 20:06:57 -0400
Message-id: <487FDEA1.6020904@xxxxxxxx>
John F. Sowa wrote:    (01)

> There are numerous horror stories floating around about
> pointy-haired bosses who bought the XML hype and converted
> working relational DBs to XML.    (02)

I don't doubt.  My only point was that XML has not yet found its proper 
place (overall) in our system of "computer science" education.  And the 
XML hype has obscured viable active technologies that XML has not 
displaced.  This is so because the stable technologies are not going to 
be grounds for new research, except in very unusual areas and ways.  It 
is much easier to think of the "new" technology as offering lots of new 
opportunities for research, even though most of that "research" is based 
on illiteracy, and the absence of established discipline.    (03)

XML has found its place in being a basis for exchange standards for 
people who had a need and had no clue where to start.  But that part is 
not exciting to students, because the real standards work is in getting 
agreement on the content, not the form, and not on new tools for doing 
old things with the new notation.    (04)

> PS:  The old "computer science" students actually learned
> something.  The new "IT" students learn how to drag, drop,
> and click, but know little or nothing about what goes on
> under the covers.    (05)

I don't think that is fair.  When I was a student around 1970, the 
"lore" that was computer science was not written down.  So yes we 
learned the lore of all kinds -- some truth, some half-truth, some 
nonsense, some relevant to software engineering, some not -- and the 
tried and true and useful lore gradually got written down.    (06)

It is not that many of these kids need to learn the useless knowledge 
that will let them build their own JVM for the Intel Hexium17.  It is 
that they will have to relearn the knowledge that was captured in 
"information modeling" and "structured programming" and "distributed 
systems" and "object-oriented" design, largely by the seat of their 
pants, because the literature of 1975-2000 doesn't use the vocabulary of 
XML and "service-orientation".  So "computer science" will be stuck 
repeating the lessons of 1980-1990, while physics and engineering goes 
on to build nano-machines.    (07)

Admittedly, this is the depressed view of the curmudgeon, but I have 
seen this phenomenon recur every 5 to 10 years for 35 years, and I still 
don't see the academic or industry forces marshalling to break the 
cycle.  (A British colleague did say that he thinks PDF might be a key 
element in the solution.)    (08)

-Ed    (09)

P.S. My first encounter with widespread ignorance of the state of the 
practice was in 1974, when a senior engineer was teaching a group of 
engineers how to program an early microcomputer.  The highlight was the 
wonderful invention of an instruction that made code sections reusable 
called "return jump".  It enabled *the subroutine*.  I was very happy to 
see that microcomputer engineers in 1974 had caught up to 1956 software 
concepts. Based on the minicomputer experience, this probably meant they 
would catch up to 1966 by 1978, and to 1976 by 1981.  And sure enough, 
that was almost exactly the timetable.  ;-)    (010)

Edward J. Barkmeyer                        Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
National Institute of Standards & Technology
Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8263                Tel: +1 301-975-3528
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8263                FAX: +1 301-975-4694    (011)

"The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST,
  and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."    (012)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (013)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>