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Re: [ontolog-forum] Webs and Fabrics

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Simon Spero <ses@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2010 15:16:54 -0400
Message-id: <AANLkTinXFxs2wXdRjGXeofisNRCJmAOyqKdWH5OKKe9y@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 12:38 PM, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
There's an interesting new language and system designed for secure, distributed computing.  The language, called Jif (Java + Information
Flow), extends Java with "policies", and the system is called Fabric because "Fabric is more useful and more tightly connected than webs."

But see Mettler et. al (2010), etc, for a different approach to secure java programming.  I love the word fabric; I like  to contrast fabrics with infrastructure, in that a fabric is much more comfortable against the skin, and fits itself to the contours of the individual. 
 1. The SemWeb began with an inspiring, but rather vague speech by Tim B-L about adding semantics to the URIs of the WWW.
    At that level of detail, nobody could object.
 2. The W3C, which met for the first time at the 1994 conference  where Tim gave that speech, took charge of the design and
    development of the SemWeb.
Geneva was the first public announcement of the W3C;  there were earlier meetings before that.  It was the first of the WWW(YYYY) conferences (though there was the World Wide Web Wizards Workshop in Cambridge, MA on  July 26-28th 1993, which is around the time that Tim started working at  MIT).  I first heard discussions that would lead to the formation of the W3O and W3C in a bar-BOF at the Amsterdam IETF, which was earlier that month
Tim's presentation from the 1st WWW Conference (Geneva)  is online at: http://www.w3.org/Talks/WWWF94/Overview.html
A  justification for W3C was given at ECHT94, online at http://www.w3.org/Talks/ECHT94-Keynote/Keynote.html

Nobody really was really paying much attention to SemWeb until Berners-Lee et. a (2001).  It was difficult enough making the Web of Documents work. 

   3. Like any design by committee (cf. Fred Brooks' book), the SemWeb was pulled in different directions by experts with competing visions of the goals, technology, and methodology.

It's dangerous to disagree with FPB in Chapel Hill, as there are multiple sites on the web where you can order Silver Bullets in a variety of calibres. I'm assuming you referring to "The Mythical Man Month" (Brooks 1975/1995).  However, his latest book "The Design of design" (Brooks 2010) also has a lot of essays that are on point. His essay on Rationalism v. Empiricism (Books 2010, Chapters 8) is especially interesting.

 4. As a result, the only consensus on architectural document was the familiar layer cake, which emphasized syntax over semantics.


Berners-Lee, Tim, James Hendler, and Ora Lassila (2001). “The Semantic Web”. In: Scientific American. URL: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=00048144-10D2-1C70-84A9809EC588EF21&catID=2.

Brooks, Frederick Phillips (1975/1995). The mythical man-month: essays on software engineering. Addison Wesley Pub. Co. ISBN: 780201835953. 

— (2010). The Design of Design: Essays from a Computer Scientist. 1st ed. Addison-Wesley Professional. ISBN: 0201362988.

Mettler, A., D. Wagner, and T. Close (2010). “Joe-E: A security-oriented subset of Java”. In: 17th Network & Distributed System Security Symposium. Citeseer. URL: http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~daw/papers/joe-e-ndss10.pdf. 

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