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[ontolog-forum] Sustainability

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 10:45:01 -0400
Message-id: <4C937EED.9040204@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cameron and Adam,    (01)

I'm moving this thread to Ontolog Forum, since it is a broader issue.    (02)

On 9/17/2010 8:43 AM, Cameron Ross wrote:
> In yesterday's ONTOLOG session on IPR, Alan Rector summarized his experiences
> with the GALEN and SNOMED projects.  During his presentation Alan brought up
> the issue of sustainability (i.e. the ability for a project to continue to
> survive once its initial seed funding has been depleted).  I'm not aware of
 > any discussion related to OOR sustainability as yet.  I believe this is a
> problem as we are starting to talk seriously about licensing models for OOR
> and the licensing models we choose will have a definite impact on the
> business models that the OOR will be able to support.  Presumably, the long
> term sustainability of the OOR will be predicated on its licensing models.    (03)

On 9/17/2010 10:19 AM, Adam Pease wrote:
> While there are many models of
> sustainability, there have been a number of factors in the
> sustainability of SUMO (and Sigma) over the past 10 years.
> - Have a champion.  No idea or project succeeds without one committed
> person to drive it.  Funding comes and goes, but I view work with SUMO
> as my most marketable asset, so I'm committed for the long term.
> Pursuing all avenues - government and commercial funding, as well as
> volunteer academic work on SUMO has kept it moving forward.
> - Open source.  Ontology, and particularly formal ontologies in first
> order logic, are still a bit speculative as far as the marketplace is
> concerned.  This was dramatically more so in the year 2000.  Giving away
> SUMO has led to its adoption on many projects.  Academic projects
> certainly would not have paid for it, and it is that body of experience
> in validating SUMO that has led to commercial use.
> - Good technical solution.  Obviously, what's being produced has to
> work, and be broadly applicable to get traction with a group of
> committed users.
> - Continued change and evolution.  The product has to respond to the
> marketplace.  Good customer service in making changes and bug fixes is
> important.  So is a bit of "push" in creatively adding new features and
> components.    (04)

I'd like to add one more example:  In the 1980s, George Miller started
the WordNet project and made it available for free download.  Around the
same time, the Japanese began the Electronic Dictionary Research (EDR)
project with billions of yen in funding.  But they tried to recoup some
of their investment by charging a licensing fee of $20,000.    (05)

As a result, everybody uses WordNet, but almost nobody uses EDR.    (06)

John    (07)

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