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Re: [ontolog-forum] Semantic Enterprise Architecture

To: doug@xxxxxxxxxx, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Doug McDavid <dougmcdavid@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2010 03:36:22 -0800
Message-id: <AANLkTikZcx637pY-U=Q7jsOe+ixNPbR0sOAgA2fyxeXi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Interesting technological discussion, lately.  I really mean I am interested in such technologies, by all means.  However, I observe that this technological discussion has been occurring within a thread that started out about enterprise architecture.  Of course, there is a lot of technological concern in enterprises, and of course a major part of any enterprise architecture is the technology architecture, so maybe there is a link to be drawn there.  Note the intentionally passive voice of the last sentence.  It might also be possible (very weak phrasing) to see how the discussion of these technicalities might be aimed at helping enterprise architects portray the fruits of their labors.  Not sure.  Or have we changed the subject?

On Sat, Sep 4, 2010 at 7:42 PM, doug foxvog <doug@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Sat, September 4, 2010 12:58, Kingsley Idehen said:
>   On 9/3/10 8:47 PM, John F. Sowa wrote:
>> [someone wrote:]
>>> Let's assume you mean publicly available open data published using the
>>> principles in TimBL's famous meme, in this case, handling this data at
>>> Web Scale is the major challenge at hand.
>> Tim's a good guy, and he did some outstanding work back in 1991, and
>> he made some good proposals for extending it later.  Unfortunately,
>> the Semantic Web has turned out to be primarily a *syntactic* web,
>> and with one of the worst-designed syntaxes ever inflicted on poor
>> innocent students and programmers.

> Yes, but not 100% percent TimBL's fault (I would say). At lot of it
> stems from people following (instinctively) rather that looking closer
> at his meme's (especially re. Linked Data and the Semantic Web Project
> in general).

TimBL designed the Semantic Web "layer cake" on which RDF sits on top of
XML and supports the semantic layers sit.  He has recently pushed
Linked Data as part of the Semantic Web, following that layer cake meme.

Remember that the outstanding work he did in 1991 was also based on
defining an underlying syntax.  The idea is that for widespread computers
to communicate, they need to be able to handle the same syntax.

My issue with RDF is not with it being exchanged on the web in XML -- why
should semanticians care about messaging formats -- but in its being
limited to triples, which XML is not.  This is a bottleneck that makes
encoding a semantic language into RDF/XML difficult, raising complications
for expressing contexts, attaching meta-assertions to RDF statements, and
expressing ternary and higher arity relations.

RDF (which can be expressed in multiple syntaxes) is a step beyond a fixed
syntax necessary for universal computer communication.  As such, it and
the layer cake *languages* built above it (OWL & SPARQL) need not be
required to transmit semantics, even if they use XML messaging formats.

> ...

>> We have to support that syntax as legacy systems, but we have to look
>> at where we should be going in the future.  XML-based notations are
>> great for marking up documents, but not as general language formats.

> I agree 100%.

I agree.  However, an XML message envelope around an _expression_ in some
language which can be stripped in a standard fashion after transmission
over the web should not be considered a burden.  A local system that
transliterates into and out of XML need not store its data in XML, nor
use XML-based query techniques.

>>> ... we compete against these folks [Oracle et al.] at the DBMS engine
>>> level. Of course we also complement them at the virtual/federated
>>> database level. These optimizations are best tasked when you attempt to
>>> use SPARQL against large RDF data sets stored in these databases. As
>>> for
>>> SPARQL-BI, they offer nothing (i.e., can venture into TPC-H land
>>> against RDF stored in these engines).

Optimization may show better ways to store data than RDF, even if the
queries coming in are packaged in RDF.  So long as the system can
accept RDF/XML queries and respond with RDF/XML, its internal syntax
is immaterial to the outside world.  If the system accepts SPARQL queries
and acts like a triple-store, it doesn't matter to the asker if its
internal processing is totally different.

>> That's great.  But you're doing what I suggested -- support the
>> semantics, independently of whatever data organization or notation
>> happens to be used.

> Yes!

As long as the notation used in the query from an external asker can be
converted into (one of) the system's native queries.

-- doug foxvog

>>>> As for MySQL, I used that as an example of a tool that has a lot
>>>>> of potential for many LOD applications.

>>> That's a typical LAMP crowd gut reaction, or should I say "wishful
>>> thinking". MySQL doesn't cut it, really.
>> I was simply pointing out some good applications that use RDB.

>> I make very heavy use of graph representations.  But there are also
>> many reasons for using tables when tables are appropriate.  The logic
>> is independent of the data structures.
> Yes, and as you can tell, we do the very same thing.
>> I'll repeat my previous principle:
>>      Always question strategy, no matter who states them.
> Again 100%, and if you look at my general commentary zeitgeist re.
> Linked Data, RDF, and the Semantic Web Project in general, that's what
> I've always done. You know too well that education is about teaching us
> not to simply follow without understanding, and this can only happen
> when we aren't afraid to be the sole heretic questioning memes, visions,
> or executable strategies.
> Again, violent agreement.
>> Sometimes the strategies are good, and sometimes the strategies are bad.
>> But there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to all kinds
>> of problems and applications.
> Amen!
> Kingsley
>> John
> --
> Regards,
> Kingsley Idehen
> President&  CEO
> OpenLink Software
> Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
> Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
> Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen
doug foxvog    doug@xxxxxxxxxx   http://ProgressiveAustin.org

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great
initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours."
   - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Doug McDavid
Skype: dougmcdavid
Mobile: 916-549-4600
Second Life: Doug McDavid
Web: enterprisology.com

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