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Re: [ontolog-forum] What goes into a Lexicon?

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2012 13:41:02 -0500
Message-id: <4F5265BE.9010208@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Michael and William,    (01)

I want to emphasize the difference between focusing on the applications
and focusing on the technology to solve them.  We need both, but the
question is where do you start and how do you proceed.    (02)

> I agree that there should be something like "OWL-FOL" for those who
> want more expressiveness.    (03)

But both of those terms -- "OWL-FOL" and "expressiveness" -- put the
technology first, not the applications.  That's like saying "Build
the solution and hope we can find a problem it can solve."    (04)

> But I don't see the semantic web as a possible way to realize the
> vision of CYC - at least not in the medium term.    (05)

I was definitely *not* talking about making the SW into Cyc.  That
is a different technology.  Cyc is now putting more emphasis on
applications, and they're learning that there's a huge difference
between focusing on technology and focusing on applications.    (06)

> The immediate payoff of the semantic web will be from systems with
> semantics coded into the sourcecode - not from general purpose
> reasoning systems with semantics coded in the data.    (07)

That still focuses on technology.  Even talking about where you put
the semantics is a premature optimization.  With just one pointer
or one *ML tag, you can move the semantics anywhere in the world
you need it.  That is a performance tradeoff, which will require
different design decisions for different kinds of applications.    (08)

> The history [John] recounts shows a pattern of thought I have seen
> often in technology. As a kind of architectural anti-pattern. I would
> call it the "Procrustean Bed": if it does not fit the technology,
> it must be re-shaped until it does.    (09)

Yes.  That's the point I was trying to make.    (010)

> What is odd is that I have found this same attitude in the programmers
> in charge of application developments: "until you tell us the solution,
> (which one would think would be their job), telling us about the problem
> is not useful, and shows you are not among us experts."    (011)

Yes.  Steve Jobs was one of the very few technology experts who focused
on the applications and how people would use them.    (012)

Sony, Nokia, and Microsoft dominated their markets, and they continued
to make incremental improvements in their technology.  But Jobs put the
applications first and focused on how people would use them.  With the
iPod, iPhone, and iPad, he revolutionized the markets by creating
solutions that are called "insanely great".    (013)

In summary, the recipe for success is to design applications that
people want to use.  The choice of technology is always a secondary
consideration.  If current technology doesn't meet the needs of
the marketplace, change it or dump it.    (014)

John    (015)

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