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Re: [ontolog-forum] Constructs, primitives, terms

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2012 08:26:08 -0500
Message-id: <4F6733F0.30806@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Kingsley,    (01)

Vannevar Bush in 1947 and Ted Nelson in 1963 developed the vision for
Linked Open Data.  Ted coined the term 'hypertext'.  Apple implemented
a proprietary subset called HyperCard in 1987, which Tim B-L used.
For the WWW project at Cern, Tim combined ideas from all of the above
with a subset of SGML called HTML.  His greatest contribution was to
build a free and open source system on top of the Internet and make
it available to everybody.    (02)

The huge volume of web pages provides the Open Data, and the http
addresses in that data provide the links.  The question is what
methods should be used to add semantics to those links.    (03)

> none of the above [Apple, IBM, and Google] have produced systems in
> line with the aspects of TimBL's vision which you like.    (04)

They all hired R. V. Guha, the inventor of RDF, to work for them.
But none of them found that SW notations and tools for specifying
and using semantics were suitable for their needs.  In fact, they
didn't even think that RDF was sufficiently useful be included as
a subset of their tools.    (05)

IBM developed an XML-based representation and toolset, which they
called UIMA (Unstructured Information Management Architecture),
and they donated the source code to the Apache Foundation.    (06)

Google adopted JSON as their replacement for RDF, and they developed
a very large toolset, which they keep proprietary, although they
make it available for developers who work with Google services.    (07)

> Remember, since putting out that meme Linked Data has exploded on
> the World Wide Web and the likes of Google have taken notice.    (08)

Please reread the visions by Vannevar Bush and Ted Nelson.  From the
Wikipedia article about Vannevar B:    (09)

> Bush introduced the concept of what he called the memex (possibly derived
> from "memory extension") during the 1930s, which he imagined as a
> microfilm-based "device in which an individual stores all his books,
> records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be
> consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged
> intimate supplement to his memory." He wanted the memex to behave like
> the "intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain"; essentially,
> causing the proposed device to be similar to the functions of a human brain.
> It was also important that it could be easily accessible '"a future device
> for individual use... a sort of mechanized private file and library" in the
> shape of a desk'. The important feature of the memex is that it ties two
> pieces together. Any item can lead to another immediately.    (010)

He also was involved with the early development of both analog and
digital computers at MIT during the 1940s -- so he had some technical
knowledge about how to construct such things, but the costs in 1947
would have been prohibitive for personal use.    (011)

So the "meme" isn't new.  But there is more work to be done to develop
better tools for implementing it.  RDF is one useful idea, but there
are others that some very smart people believe are better.    (012)

John    (013)

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