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Re: [ontolog-forum] End of the line for triple stores

To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2009 12:03:59 EST
Message-id: <4a6889ef.d7a7.0@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Phil and Kingsley,    (01)

I am not arguing for or against any particular technology, and
my points are independent of any implementation or benchmark
comparisons.  I cited benchmarks only to counter claims that
the logical interface should be biased toward one particular
physical layout.  My primary point about benchmarks is that they
change with the weather, and they should never be used to bias
the logical views of the data.    (02)

The primary points I am making were well understood by people
like Don Knuth in the 1960s and by the conceptual schema work
of the 1970s:    (03)

 1. The logical interface should be independent of any
    physical storage layout or access method.    (04)

 2. Any optimizations tailored for a particular technology or
    algorithm are certain to be obsolete when the next new
    technology or algorithm is invented.    (05)

 3. Therefore, the ANSI/SPARC three-schema approach of 1978 is
    still the best advice about how to design standards for
    data access:    (06)

    a) The conceptual schema (logic + ontology) should be
       completely neutral about storage mechanisms, benchmarks,
       algorithms, etc.    (07)

    b) The physical schema that specifies how the data is
       stored and organized is the level where the latest and
       greatest technology of the day should be considered.    (08)

    c) The application schema defines the APIs to programming
       languages and other software systems.    (09)

This wisdom has never been superseded, and it is independent
of any and all benchmark battles.    (010)

However, I also realize the importance of smooth transitions
that enable new technology to interoperate with legacy systems
for indefinite periods of time.  Therefore, I believe that any
new standards must be upward compatible and interoperable with
current standards.  If the new standards are truly neutral,
they should support older standards that may have some kinds
of built-in bias toward one physical layout or another.    (011)

I have been traveling for the past two weeks, so my email
time has been limited.  I'm catching a plane tomorrow morning,
and I don't know when my next email opportunity will occur.
But I'll be home on Aug 2, and I can catch up with whatever
discussions have transpired.    (012)

John Sowa    (013)

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