And a little explicit context/scope representation can go a long way towards
the correctness and usefulness of the semantics. (02)
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Kingsley Idehen
Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 9:09 AM
To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; public-lod@xxxxxx
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] How de facto standards are created (04)
On 6/17/13 11:52 PM, John F Sowa wrote:
> Melvin, John, and Kingsley,
> The point I wanted to make is the importance of de facto standards as
> a basis for official standards. A huge number of official standards
> that ignored the de facto standards have been ignored by developers.
> I'd also like to cite a "Law of Standards", which I first enunciated
> in a note to the SRKB list (Shared Reusable Knowledge Bases) in 1991:
> From http://www.jfsowa.com/computer/standard.htm
>> Whenever a major organization develops a new system as an official
>> standard for X, the primary result is the widespread adoption of some
>> simpler system as a de facto standard for X.
> Prediction: According to the Law of Standards, I predict that the
> Semantic Web notations will be replaced by de facto standards based on
> much simpler pre-existing languages:
> 1. OWL will be replaced by a de facto standard based on Aristotle's
> syllogisms. The majority of published OWL ontologies do not use
> any features that go beyond Aristotle. Examples: Good Relations,
> BFO, and many others. Those syllogisms have been expressed in
> controlled natural languages for over two millennia, and they will
> continue to be expressed in CNLs.
> 2. SPARQL and SQL will be replaced by de facto standards based on
> a typed version of Datalog, which can also be mapped to and from
> simple CNL sentences. The types will be specified by sentences
> of the CNL used in point #1.
> 3. For more expressive power beyond #1 and #2, typed Datalog can be
> extended to a full Horn-clause logic-programming language. The
> usual notations for LP languages can be used by people who know
> them, but the statements could also be translated to CNLs.
> 4. Various diagrams (UML and others) can be used to supplement the
> controlled NLs for points #1, #2, and #3. Those diagrams are
> familiar for most programmers, and the learning curve for adding
> CNLs to supplement the diagrams is smooth and simple.
> Some comments on your comments:
>> I think you mean Mosiac, rather than Mozilla.
> Yes, I forgot Mosaic. Mozilla was designed by the founders of
> Netscape (many of whom were also the ones who implemented Mosaic).
> But they did a complete rewrite of the code base for Mozilla.
>> There is an element of luck involved too. Gopher was ahead of the
>> WWW, until the U of Minnesota made a licensing mistake.
> Luck is indeed important. Some people (such as Steve Jobs) make their
> own luck and their own mistakes. Apple developed Hypercard in the
> 1980s, but they kept it proprietary. Tim Berners-Lee used Hypercard,
> and it gave him the inspiration for http.
> Another licensing mistake: Simula-67 was the first object-oriented
> language (in 1967). It was (and still is) and excellent language, but
> the developers wanted to charge $20,000 for it. Philippe Kahn sold
> Turbo Pascal for $99, and he got enough orders to fund Borland without
> seeking outside investors.
>> I still consider Silversmith the first web (lowercase "w") browser.
>> The term "web" existed before WWW...
> Those are interesting points. Thanks for the history.
>> how do we identify and develop the next killer app? It is easy to
>> identify the killer apps after they have major gross revenues.
> Good question. One reason why Tim B-L's version succeeded is that
> CERN was not trying to sell a product. Their goal was very modest:
> enable physicists to share research papers more rapidly. Academics
> from other fields adopted it very quickly. MOSAIC was also free
> because it was funded by the US gov't as free software.
> In general, I would say that every "killer app" started as a solution
> to a problem that somebody needed to solve. CERN recognized the
> problem and they asked Tim to solve it. Then Tim used ideas from a
> (Hypercard) that many people had found useful for related problems.
> Steve Jobs was a good designer because he understood his users.
>> Linked Data has created a killer application for the Web in its
>> ability to enable Web-scale structured data representation,
>> publication, and publication....
>> Google's Guha and Dan Brickley (no strangers to RDF) have also added
>> Schema.org  to this powerful killer app. cocktail comprised of
>> structured data and shared vocabularies...
>> Google is encouraging its developers to take advantage of JSON-LD...
> Yes, but. This is another confirmation of the Law of Standards.
> An official standard (the W3C spec's for SW tools) led to de facto
> standards based on simpler, pre-existing technology: Microdata, RDFa,
> and JSON can be used with HTML instead of XML, and Schema.org uses a
> very simple hierarchy instead of OWL.
> As I've said, OWL hits a "sour spot" in knowledge representation:
> too complex to be easy to learn, too limited to be useful for
> implementing an application, and too incompatible to be used with
> mainstream IT and databases.
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Again, I've cc'd in the lod mailing list due to the relevance of this thread
to other ongoing debates at the current time. (06)
Anyway, I agree with most of your analysis, but I do think OWL is being
treated a little unkindly. I do believe a little semantics can go a long way
re. usefulness :-) (07)
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