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

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2013 14:47:34 -0400
Message-id: <523DE9C6.6070508@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Kingsley,    (01)

I certainly agree on the semantic problems with RDBs.  Those issues
were recognized in the 1970s.  And very good proposals for fixing
the problems have been published, analyzed, and implemented in
research systems for the nearly 40 years.  The biggest obstacles
have been the dominant vendors.    (02)

>> A lot of my personal data is stored by corporations whose security
>> systems I depend on.  At least, I'm thankful that they use RDBs,
>> not SW formats.    (03)

> Please!
> SQL RDBMS engines are horrible when it comes to security. Just down
> right horrible. They  use literal identifiers for their objects, they
> are utterly challenged by semantics, and eternally vulnerable to social
> engineering.    (04)

I sympathize with all your complaints.  But (a) RDBs have so little
built-in semantics, that you can build any good semantics you prefer
on top of them; (b) they support sufficient controls on transactions
that they can be made far more secure than anything the W3C proposes.    (05)

Please note that RDBs are currently used to run the major financial
transactions for businesses and governments around the world.  They
use the Internet for passing encrypted messages, not for transactions.    (06)

> The solution to this problem with where the Semantic Web technology
> stack is extremely strong.    (07)

More precisely, the SW implemented a subset of the semantics that had
been proposed by many different academic and commercial developers
over the past 40 years.   I'd use the term "better than SQL" for the
SW semantics, but that isn't saying much.    (08)

> Basically, while ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET from RDBMS vendors exist
> (pre-installed)  on systems, and users and enterprises remain ambivalent
> of what data actually is,  they are vulnerable beyond description.    (09)

Of course!  The Internet leaks like a sieve.  That is why every secure
system *must be* a silo.  (At least until something better than the
current Internet is developed.)    (010)

John    (011)

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