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Re: [ontolog-forum] Accommodating legacy software

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2012 21:58:26 -0400
Message-id: <50401A42.3040809@xxxxxxxxxxx>
John B and David E,    (01)

John Bottoms quoting Clayton Christensen:
> generally disruptive technologies underperform established products
> in mainstream markets.  But they have other features....they are
> typically cheaper, simpler, smaller, and frequently, more convenient
> to use.    (02)

I am *very strongly* in favor of disruptive technology.  An example
is the WWW.  It revolutionized everything.  But it *built on* and
*extended* legacy systems in the best possible ways:    (03)

  1. It built on the Internet and TCP/IP, which was a legacy that
     started out as Arpanet in 1969.    (04)

  2. It developed HTML, which was based on SGML, which is a legacy
     from IBM's GML (Generalized Markup Language) from 1969.    (05)

  3. Tim Berners-Lee was inspired by using Apple's HyperCard, which
     was a proprietary application that was inspired by the Hypertext
     idea that Ted Nelson proposed in the 1960s, which was inspired
     by Vannevar Bush's Memex article from 1945.    (06)

  4. By 2000, almost every commercial web site was built around
     a relational database.  Big sites used Oracle or IBM DB2.
     Smaller sites used LAMP -- of which the M stands for MySQL.    (07)

In 2000, Tim B-L wrote the DAML proposal for funding to build the
Semantic Web.  Tim did not want to replace legacy systems.  Instead,
he proposed to extend the WWW and the existing applications that
used the WWW.  Please read Tim's DAML proposal:    (08)

    http://www.w3.org/2000/01/sw/DevelopmentProposal    (09)

In that proposal, the keywords are 'interoperability', 'heterogeneous',
and 'diversity'.  That would have enabled commercial web sites to work
with semantic tools in a smooth migration path.    (010)

> I have yet to detect much interest or concern for legacy software
> systems   the stuff that runs our interconnected world  in the
> semantic web/ontology  domain.
> Have I missed something?    (011)

The database world was talking about semantics and ontology long
before Tim proposed the Semantic Web.  In Tim's DAML proposal,
he definitely supported interoperability with relational DBs.    (012)

Unfortunately, what you have been hearing is the decidability mantra.
None of the legacy systems are decidable.  But they are powerful
enough to run the world economy.  In comparison, the decidable
systems are just toys.    (013)

John    (014)

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