On 11/13/2012 6:49 PM, Obrst, Leo J. wrote:
> the SW is a composite of pioneers and visionaries. Many of the SW
> still have that TBL vision and many go beyond that TBL vision.
> I would not try to localize or personalize too much into one
> person's very early and idiosyncratic view. (01)
Tim B-L's proposal of February 2000 is much more than a historical
document. Tim is not just "one person" who walked in off the street,
and his DAML proposal is *not* a "very early and idiosyncratic view." (02)
1. When Tim wrote his proposal for the WWW in 1989, there had been
44 years of discussion of Vannevar Bush's article about Memex,
which appeared in the Atlantic in 1945. There had been 29 years
of discussion about Ted Nelson's hypertext and Project Xanadu,
and 20 years of experience with the Arpanet and Internet. (03)
2. For the WWW, Tim combined those ideas with his experience in
using Apple's HyperCard and the document processing for SGML,
which was based on IBM's GML from 1969. Many people knew about
those things, but Tim put them all together and led a project
that got the combination working in just one year. Many people
could have made that synthesis, but they didn't. Tim did. (04)
3. Tim proposed the Semantic Web in a keynote speech at the first
meeting of the W3C in 1994. In 1999, he published a book about
those historical developments, the 10 years of experience with
the WWW, and the first five years of work on the Semantic Web.
During that time, he talked with and worked with a lot of people
who had a great deal of experience in AI, ontology, and logic.
Among them was Guha, who had been the associate director of Cyc
and the chief designer of RDF (with Tim Bray). (05)
4. For the 2000 proposal, Tim was the principal investigator for
the DAML project, but it was developed in collaboration with
four other researchers. It also has an extensive list of
references. If you haven't read it recently, please do so.
5. Last, but not least, Tim knew how to design a working system and
to lead a project that got it done on time within budget. In that
proposal, there are several very important terms that were lost
in later DAML reports: diversity, heterogeneity, interoperability,
trust, authority, and access control. Tim recognized the need for
a highly expressive Semantic Web Logic Language (SWeLL), which
could serve as a superset of many specialized logics for the
*heterogeneous* systems on the SW. (07)
Compared to Tim's proposal of 2000, the final DAML report of 2006 was
a watered-down subset. I don't blame the developers for not being able
to implement everything in five years with a limited number of people.
But I do blame them for *not* admitting that the results of 2006 were
just a small step in a much bigger project. (08)
More importantly, Tim recognized the problems that Ed Barkmeyer
mentioned. He said that they had to be addressed "early" in
the DAML project, and he outlined a method for addressing them.
But DAML and subsequent projects ignored them. (09)
In fact, the very narrow and idiosyncratic view is the one by the
academics who destroyed the breadth and depth of Tim's vision.
They are responsible for the tools that are ignored by mainstream IT
and by major corporations such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, Apple,
and Amazon. (010)
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