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Re: [ontology-summit] Shareable versus reusable, or shared and reusable

To: ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:29:19 -0400
Message-id: <535144CF.9020804@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Any discussion of sharing and reuse must distinguish functional
requirements from a precise specification of a single option.
A simple list is often hard to improve:    (01)

    Toast, muffin, croissant, or daily special    (02)

As another example, the shift away from incandescent light bulbs has
drawn attention to functional requirements that nobody imagined.    (03)

Reducing heat is good.  But LED traffic lights don't generate enough
heat in winter to melt snow and ice.  An incandescent bulb gets hot,
but it tolerates heat in an enclosed space.  The number of unexpected
consequences -- both good and bad -- is open-ended.    (04)

Overly precise specifications can block interoperability and reuse
in engineering, medicine, and other fields.  Engineers complain that
computerized tools can make functional replacements more difficult.
They can also be a deterrent to innovation.    (05)

Sometimes, the exact spec is critical, and a repair that seems to
be a functional replacement can create a disaster.  But patients have
died because a physician did not know that another option was possible.    (06)

For humorous examples, google "redneck repairs".  But the questions
are serious:  How much precision is appropriate?  Is form or function
more important?  What tradeoffs are possible, desirable, or dangerous?    (07)

John    (08)

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