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Re: [ontolog-forum] Amazon vs. IBM: Big Blue meets match in battle for t

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2013 11:08:59 -0400
Message-id: <51EFEE0B.1040704@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Alex, Kingsley, and John B,    (01)

> I would like to hear it in an open discussion panel at ontolog from either
> amazon, microsoft or the like. I often hear about big firmas using sw
> technology but so far I have not heard ther cments about all of the
> issues discussed in this kind of forums.    (02)

Yes.  And I'd add IBM and Apple to that list.  Guha gave a talk
about Schema.org from Google's point of view, but it would be
good to have a broader overview of what Google does.    (03)

> End-users, Integrators, Systems Analysts, and Domain Experts need to be
> part of the dialog. They also need to be the profile to which tools
> are targeted.    (04)

I very strongly agree.  Academics with no experience in mainstream IT
are incapable of designing tools that will be used in mainstream IT.    (05)

> I believe the World Wide Web has always been a Web of Semantically
> interlinked Data.    (06)

I agree.  The natural language texts written by people for other people
determine the real semantics of the SW (or the WWW).  In fact, most OWL
ontologies have very little formal semantics -- the real "meaning" of
the OWL terms is buried in the NL comments.    (07)

> I agree those three words, "diversity, heterogeneity, and interoperability"
> are key but they strike me as features or facets, not goals. I believe we
> need to state a goal for a tool that has not already been addressed.    (08)

They're more than features.  A better term is requirements.    (09)

All the diverse methods that anybody has found useful are important,
and they should be supported. Tim outlined a strategy for doing that
in his proposal of Feb. 2000:    (010)

    http://www.w3.org/2000/01/sw/DevelopmentProposal    (011)

> There are quite a few tools out there now that can be used for
> ontological  work. We wouldn't want to duplicate effort.    (012)

I agree that there are many tools.  But we need far more R & D
for developing ontology tools that are easy to learn, easy to use,
efficient to run, and interoperable with mainstream IT.    (013)

The DAML final report of 2005 was very narrow in comparison to Tim's
original vision:    (014)

 From http://www.w3.org/2005/12/31-daml-final.html
> we have for the last 5 years been doing the equivalent of developing
> relational databases without SQL. The query language, SPARQL, now in the
> final stages of standardization, is for many people a key to the usability
> of semantic web data.    (015)

That is *not* what Tim said about SQL.  There is nothing wrong with
designing a YAQL (Yet Another Query Language), but it was hopelessly
naive to think that they could replace the language that runs the world
economy and the overwhelming majority of commercial web sites.    (016)

DAML final
> we developed a stand-alone program to export an existing SQL database
> as RDF data on the web.    (017)

That is *not* concurrent interoperability.  It is an open invitation to
disaster to convert a mission-critical RDB to RDF.    (018)

DAML final
> The eventual success criteria for the project, indeed for the DAML work
> as a whole, will be in the long term a strong wide and generally adopted
> semantic web technology which provides humanity with the ability to reuse
> data and logical information in an unprecedented way.    (019)

Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, and other major vendors don't
use the DAML technology.  That is a sign that we should consider it
a small subset of what humanity needs.    (020)

> I am an extensive (and very early) user of AWS. I use this platform to
> deploy very sophisticated solutions that leverage various aspects of
> the Semantic Web technology stack.    (021)

That's good.    (022)

A combinations of DAML technology with mainstream IT and with any
other developments that anybody has found useful is important.
That is completely consistent with Tim's original proposal.    (023)

Recommendation:  Treat the DAML final report for what it is:
a research exercise.  Tim's original proposal is a much better
statement of the SW goals and directions.  That proposal should
be used as a guideline for future developments that support
interoperability among the DAML tools and all the alternatives.    (024)

John    (025)

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