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Re: [ontolog-forum] Semantic Web shortcomings [was Re: ANN: GoodRelation

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 08:06:15 -0400
Message-id: <48AAB737.7090106@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat,    (01)

There is a major difference between development and design.
The the best designers are usually developers or have had
lots of development experience, but many more developers can
join the project after the initial design has been done
(but I admit that my use of the verb 'develop' in the first
line might blur that distinction):    (02)

JS>> The best designs are developed by small groups.  After they
 >> have proved their value on at least one important application,
 >> a committee can evaluate them, note missing or inadequate features,
 >> and polish up the details.    (03)

PC> This may well be true of foundation ontologies, though a foundation
 > ontology is different enough from other artifacts to give one doubts
 > about any analogies.  Even if it is true, it is not inconsistent with
 > development by a large group (50-100 participants), since each part
 > of the ontology beyond the top level or two is likely to be the focus
 > of a small subgroup, and the group as a whole would serve the function
 > of the "committee" to be sure that the work of the subgroups
 > integrates with everything else and can handle the applications of
 > interest to the whole group.    (04)

I would agree.  As an extreme example, consider the Wikipedia.
The format was originally designed and developed by a small group,
which was then opened up to a cast of thousands, most of whom made
small contributions without making any changes to the design.    (05)

Another example is Linux, which was designed and originally developed
by one person, who still serves as the benevolent dictator of the
kernel.  There have also been many good designers of various components
that run on top of the kernel.  Unfortunately, there has not been a
small group of designers that have taken charge of providing a unified
user experience, along the lines of the Macintosh.    (06)

John    (07)

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