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Re: [ontolog-forum] Some Grand Challenge proposal ironies

To: "Ali SH" <asaegyn+out@xxxxxxxxx>, "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Christopher Spottiswoode" <cms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 20:10:36 +0200
Message-id: <F07D6233A8854F9E955A0B6F645D7244@klaptop>
Hello Speed-Reading Ali!  And thank you for the most relevant questions from the present technology coalface.
At this stage in our discussions, namely before we have worked through Section 2 of my "Matthew Lange 5x5 points" ("ML5x5p" below) (with their obvious relevance as necessary background), I shall merely be offering you a punt.  But also an exposition of the general method I am further testing now.
My answer is quite possibly based on too little knowledge of the products and projects you refer to.  I do recall having looked at CALO long ago and quickly dismissing it, I did watch the presentation of Siri to the Ontolog Community before it was bought by Apple but thought it nice though not nearly radical enough in its whole approach.  I have now quickly scanned some of the web pages you have referred me to and see rather too much of "the same old story" of OWL, RDF, the present conception of the Semantic Web, and suchlike, though with the latest set of special adaptations or cousins.
But it is very clear to me that a point-by-point "comparing and contrasting" would not be applicable.  Any attempt is sure to be unreadable, confusing and not very relevant to the real needs of the questioner.
So, based on long experience of questions such as yours, I have been settling on this 2-step strategy for handling them, at least at this stage of our relevant discussions:
1.  Point (usually very briefly would suffice...) to how far up abstraction and dependency hierarchies one would need to go to find the common technological or infrastuctural ground.
2.  Then, we look for enduser usecases as the better common ground for a reliable meeting of minds.  But even then it won't be easy because of the differences between enduser needs and predicaments in the very different ecosystems, the present one so hotch-potch and the foreseeable new one so architecturally clean, coherent, integrated, manageable and user-congenially AOS-managed, all thanks to its ontology foundation.  So even with enduser usecases we will need to go back up those hierarchies, here in the user-situation domain.  (But don't worry, we won't have to go all the way back, right up to "helping people simplify complexity together"!)
So, step 1, which is really very easy and simple once you've got it, but it will shock you into complete incredulity at first, especially before our ML5x5p Section 2 expansion (as I warned above).  In this case it happens to bring another ML 5 sub-steps:
1.1  Not a single one of the present serializations of so-called ontologies is required.  The basic requirements here fit into ML5x5p 1.4.  (As for human readability, see 1.3 and 1.4 below.)
1.2  The uri/url/urn is required only for interfacing with legacy environments.  Identity is always context-defined and largely-transparent.  Precise, complete, yet nimble and flexible context-management might even be said to be the prime modus operandi of the AOS (cf. ML5x5p 1.3 and 2.2).
1.3  The AOS as UI is the universal "Semantic Desktop equivalent".  Fine common ground that!  But only to start with.  For even the html/http www is not required for user views or inputs.  The ontology-derived Separation of Concerns (ML5x5p 2.1) is such that view construction and management is highly medium- or UI-device-adaptable and largely automatic, across all canonical applications, universally.  Obviously that is key to application agility and transportability.
1.4  The equivalent of ontology design and modification is similarly highly-flexible, with unique features for componentization and largely plug-and-play reuse (cf ML5x5p 2.3).  That is really a subset of the handling of any user input, in its turn usually largely automatic reuse of prior modules, of course with full error minimization and fault handling.
1.5  Data durability (as in ACID) is likewise a fully-separated concern.  So even though my Metaset is at present based on RDF-like triple-storage (as it has been since 1987) and my own internal DBMS-less management, it is not a necessary constraint.
Well, as it has turned out it seems there's nothing of Step 2 left in this case.
Ali, does that seem to address your underlying real questions at all?  Please don't hesitate with any more.
And thanks again.  As you can see, you've provided me with a most useful prompt for a contribution from me which - I expect - will be at least partly applicable to many questions of the kinds I can expect at this stage.
Best regards,
----- Original Message -----
From: Ali SH
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 4:25 PM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Some Grand Challenge proposal ironies

Hi Christopher,

On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 10:12 AM, Christopher Spottiswoode <cms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
1.       The universal yet simple concept of the suggested Ontology
Chemistry Grand Challenge target product, the Application Operating
System (AOS).

could you explain how this challenge differs from past efforts of creating a "Semantic Desktop"?

I understand your proposal hopes to achieve much much more, but the AOS seems like a pre-requisite for all the other future desires.

Could you provide a suggestion as to how this effort would overcome some of those past challenges? 

For starters, if I recall correctly, the SRI team spent quite a bit of time trying to develop something quite similar to this (IRIS Semantic Desktop, which was to work with CALO which in turn became Siri), and there are currently these efforts: http://www.semanticdesktop.org/ontologies/ or  http://www.oscaf.org/

Comparisons to these systems and how this Grand Challenge would differ from them (and how this re-framing might overcome the obstacles they faced) would be very useful in helping me understand and provide useful feedback regarding this proposal.


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