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

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2013 15:24:32 -0400
Message-id: <5245DB70.2040002@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 9/27/2013 1:39 PM, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
> To what degree did data-silo-fication matter (in the minds or users and
> IT decision makers) prior to the ubiquitous Web and Internet explosions?    (01)

That was the central focus of the conceptual schema (CS) work during
the 1970s.  Their goal was to define the conceptual schema as the
semantic specification language (roughly speaking, logic + ontology).
In fact, my first publication on conceptual graphs addressed that issue:    (02)

    Conceptual graphs for a database interface    (03)

Then the APIs for all applications, the physical DBs (network,
relational, or hierarchical), and the user interface would be
mapped to and from the CS.    (04)

That would enable applications and user interfaces to be independent
of the details of the physical storage.  You could mix & match them
in any combination.    (05)

> Yes, but what happened after that, following the rise of the SQL RDBMS?    (06)

Unfortunately, certain vendors correctly saw that the CS could weaken
their market dominance.  So they blocked all attempts to define a
standard for the conceptual schema.  That project ended as an ANSI
technical report in 1978.  It was later revived by ISO, and ended as
an ISO TR in 1987 and another TR in 1999.  No standards.    (07)

>> In comparison, I would call the SW hype naive, provincial, and
>> based on wishful thinking that was untested against reality.    (08)

> Methinks, too harsh, even on its very worst "poor narrative" day :-)    (09)

Maybe.  But my "harsh" words are the result of my frustration with
the lost opportunity.  I had hoped that an SW along the lines of TBL's
DAML proposal could produce a conceptual schema that was outside the
clutches of the DB vendors -- but interoperable with them.    (010)

John    (011)

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