John F. Sowa wrote:
> Pavithra and Cameron,
> I am strongly in favor of support for universities. But at the
> same time that the Brits dumped that money on the institute for
> "web science", they were taking money away from many talented
> professors, who were working in other areas of computer science,
> logic, linguistics, and related fields.
> PK> But when government spends money on educational institute
> > and scientific research, it is never a waste. In fact, it is
> > a vested in interest in humanity...
> I agree that governments waste much more money in ways that
> are often much less productive. But if they're giving money
> to universities, they could get better productivity by funding
> 30 separate projects than one large institute that is isolated
> from the computer science departments.
> CR> For me, its not about whether or not to invest in R&D...
> > clearly we need to do this. Rather, its about what to invest in.
> Yes. My major complaint about the Semantic Web has been that it
> is *isolated* from the mainstream of software design, development,
> and use. Putting it in a separate institute just makes it even
> more isolated. That is a terrible step in the wrong direction.
> Following is an excerpt from a note I sent to an email list for
> the OMG. It explains in more detail why I believe that this
> institute is counterproductive.
> Since I have been working with ontologies, I'd like to make some
> remarks that distinguish the directions I have recommended from
> what has been done with the Semantic Web.
> As I said before, my major complaint about the Semantic Web is
> that it was "too provincial". They completely ignored the half
> century of work on software design, development, and specification
> that had been funded by income from actual money-making products.
> When Tim B-L published his book, commercial web sites, large and
> small, were built around a relational database, and UML was the
> most widely used notation for specifying software. If the W3C
> had designed their tools and notations in a way that could take
> advantage of that work and extend it further, the Semantic Web
> would have become a unifying force for integrating all software
> design and development.
> Instead, they ignored everything that was done before, and took
> some ideas that the AI community had pioneered in the 1970s.
> There were some useful commercial applications of those ideas
> in the 1980s, but they weren't widely adopted -- partly because
> they were isolated from the mainstream of commercial IT. Instead
> of integrating those ideas with the mainstream, the SW kept them
> isolated. And -- surprise, surprise -- they're still not widely
> adopted today.
> The point I make about semantics is that it cuts across every
> aspect of system design, development, and use. It has the
> potential for unifying all those aspects. But you can't unify
> anything if you put it in an isolated compartment that is
> separate from the things you're trying to unify.
> I worked in R & D for 30 years at IBM, which had an outstanding
> research "division". Unfortunately, being a division kept it
> divided from the divisions that developed products. That is
> one reason why IBM had a reputation for being in the forefront
> of every major development in computer science and technology,
> but usually *second* in the actual deployment of the technology.
> That is why I believe it is hopelessly counterproductive to
> put "web science" into an isolated institute where it further
> reduces its contact with both universities and industry.
> John Sowa
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To cut a long story really short. (02)
+1^6 . (03)
Couldn't be articulated any clearer (imho). (04)
There is simply too much counter productive NIH in the "Semantic Web
Project" realm. Net effect: 10+ year odyssey re. getting the world to
comprehend that the Web could be a federated relational-graph model DBMS
driven by the ability to Reference Data Objects and De-reference their
Representations via HTTP. (05)
President & CEO
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