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The Roadkilll of Ximplifications (Was RE: ZDNet Schema article,a nd hiding complexity within user-friendlyproducts)
- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <email@example.com>
- To: Tony Presti <firstname.lastname@example.org>, xml-dev <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 16:15:40 -0500
Ok, but some curmudgeonly thoughts ...
Keiretsu requires locally stable vocabularies,
but only that of necessity. XML Schemas work
fine at the level of exchanging data objects.
What do you need to exchange and can you afford
Do businesses need the SemanticWeb? Do we?
Standards don't always incubate; sometimes they block.
In other cases, without a core data standard,
there is no market not because the data is complex,
but the business rules are and they vary by locale
and contract. No one can afford to build the app
unless they can customize it and sell it to different
customers in the same market for dollar costs that
exceed what the perceptions for web-based apps sustain.
Complexity isn't the enemy; the perception of cost
and its impact on market is. When the Dogs of Marketing
sell a customer on the WebAppsAreCheaper bit, the
DevelopmentSlaves groan at their oars. It ain't so.
I would hope XSD and RDF work together at least as
far as intertransformability confers identity or similarity.
As for the semantic web, I reserve some doubts. Grand visions
are good for rallying effort, creating orgs to direct, etc...
o MSXML 4.0 is on the street with XSD support. XSD wins
the first round of practical ubiquitous support.
o XML Schemas are already backed up with practice in XDR,
publicly available documents explaining best practices, etc.
Books are already in the hoppers if not on the shelves.
o XSLT is a heckuva harder to apply than XML Schemas and
so far, people are figuring it out.
o Feedback from serious minds on the notion of the semantic
web suggests the infrastructure won't be there for ten years, maybe 20.
We'd have to debate infrastructure but if that is a given, by
the time that passes, the situation with the semantic
web will be as it was for SGML and XML: when the requirements
and the technology converge, it is time for new faces, new
names, freshly scrubbed ideas, and so forth. So it might
happen but not for the current inventors/investors.
o Metadata may be more expensive to create and maintain than
content. Hired a semiologist or ontologist lately?
o Content has to last long enough to recoup costs and profit.
This means a lifecycle that includes maintenance and
upgrade. Sustainment: we have to be able to afford to own
content. That is why the kudzu of HTML will never go away.
o Vocabularies imposed from above are not as stable as
those emergent from contract requirements. Money talks
but better than that, it schedules. Companies don't
join the United Nations. They sell systems to other
companies. Sometimes, they sell them to the UN members,
but that market isn't as big as it used to be. The local
surfer doesn't buy SWs: he subscribes to services. What
will be the cost of maintaining semantically-aligned services
and who will pay it? So far, the ISPs, the telcos, etc. and
they have to pass that on to the customer who benefits by having
a cell phone that can tell a microwave to ask the refrigerator
about the best temperature to cook a pizza?
So the basic semantic web application is a well-done pizza?
Huh? They used to be $10 and were delivered hot in thirty
minutes or less. Now because a cellphone doesn't have the
power to validate a form entry and I can't hit the chiclets,
I get pizza that's soggy and the refrigerator won't take it back
or even give me a frikkin' coupon!! And for this, all of the
best minds in computer science slaved to build the SW!!!!! Some deal...
Don't Bogart the future. What may appear to be one system lasts
as long as it takes the weather to change the temperature
of the road surface. Then the illusion fades in the rear
view mirror among the road kill of never-ending Ximplifications.
Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h
From: Tony Presti [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
I remember those G3 and G4 spec issues when attempting imagery integration
And you are correct, Len - the issue IS XML approach with RDF schema. XML
associated schemata approaches can only work within limited domain
for semantic applications. The addition of RDF schemata to XML apps seems
hold much more promise for reduction of computational intensity in
or (dare I say it?) unbounded semantic web knowledge assembly.