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Re: [ontolog-forum] Data, Silos, Interoperability, and Agility

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2013 16:51:55 -0400
Message-id: <523A126B.3070209@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Kingsley, David, and Melvin,    (01)

> There are different kinds of silos. When it comes to data, I am
> yet to find any justification for a silo.    (02)

The distinction between modularity (good) and silos (bad) depends
on who controls the access to what kind of data for what purpose.    (03)

> Ora Lassila explains the kind of data-de-silo-fication I seek...
> [1] http://bit.ly/T2aTNi -- loosely coupling applications and data
> [2] http://slidesha.re/TBMT0Q -- size doesn't matter (if your data is in a 
>silo).    (04)

I agree with many of the points that Ora L. makes, but I also have
many "yes, but..." reactions to others.    (05)

For an OS, I like the Unix design of having open formats for data and
a collection of general utilities for processing them.  I prefer that
to the idea of a dedicated program that controls each data type.    (06)

*BUT* there are good arguments for "object-oriented" languages and
systems that provide an access-control program for each resource
and a standardized set of "methods" for accessing it.    (07)

>> I am yet to find any justification for a silo.    (08)

> There's a long list of justifications...    (09)

I agree that they are all important.    (010)

>> - senior management can assign responsibility (single neck to wring)    (011)

> No, not a justification in my eyes at all.    (012)

I'm as suspicious of senior management as Dilbert is.  But I recognize
the need to have a single person who is responsible for each resource.    (013)

Whenever there is divided responsibility for anything (in business,
government, or just planning a party) everyone will let "the other guy"
take care of it.  The result is that nobody does it.  *And* you also
need somebody to check up on the responsible person.  It doesn't have
to be intrusive.  An occasional question is enough: "How's it coming?"    (014)

> Linux is really 3 projects IMHO...    (015)

I agree.  I just used it as an example because it was in the news.    (016)

In other notes, I mentioned the SABRE system for airline reservations,
which IBM developed for American Airlines in the early 1960s.  That
design with its implicit ontology is still embedded in the latest
and greatest reservation systems for airlines and related services.    (017)

> All 3 phases are works in progress ...    (018)

Absolutely!  All legacy systems are are works in progress until they
are "functionally stabilized".  That's IBM's euphemism for "dead end".
The people who need them can use them, but they won't get any updates.    (019)

John    (020)

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