On Dec 14, 2010, at 4:52 PM, John F. Sowa wrote:
>> How about engaging them in a survey to estimate the cost of "IT Babel"
>> in their respective enterprises? We might even mention the trillion
>> dollar elephant in the room --- insecure systems.
> That is indeed a serious problem. People have been talking about it
> since the 1970s. The only thing new is that the word 'ontology' has
> been thrown into the pot. But talking has not solved the problems.
I suggest that there has been more than talk though far from enough more.
In my purview the main obstacle has been the notion that progammers and data
base administrators should be describing and prescribing ontologies. That is
tantamount to trying to win the Forumula 1 championship with a vehicle designed
by the pit crew. The data model is the map, not the territory. And I am
waiting on someone to show how to model enthusiasm in UML.
In one case, early 1970's, Simula educed a new way of representing intelligence
spacecraft in a computational device. Then current practice was to write
programs representing the spacecraft operations and limits. Each version of
software had to be seriously modified for every vehicle block change, about $1
million per year. We devised a way to represent the spacecraft as a set of
'scenes' and rules for composting 'acts' then devised software (in Jovial, no
less) for composing acts and checking viability of the result. This software
was used for the next 25 years across many block changes of the original
spacecraft and across nine distinctly different spacecraft. (01)
However, the main point is that gaining awareness, appreciation and acceptance
of X by prospective adopters is best done by helping them convince themselves
that there may be a simple solution to a whole array of problem manifestations
that they suffer under daily and that X is a good horse to bet on. In the
Ontology Summit situation X = ontology, not glossary, not taxonomy, not DB
schema, and not procedural code. (02)
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