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RE: Picking the Tools

From: Uche Ogbuji [mailto:uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com]

>Ah, but I continue to plead ignorance of the claims for the Semantic Web.

Scary.  Every second article cites the Semantic Web as justification 
for something, and experts can't tell me what claims it can lay claim to 
so to speak.  

>I found out in my very first thread there that there was an impedance
>mis-match between what I wanted to get done with XML, RDF and the like,
>and the ambitions of many others.

That is almost a universal condition on mail lists.  

>I see RDF as an excellent modeling tool for closed systems.  

Please explain that.  I should think a topic map is fairly good 
for describing a closed system.  On the other hand, the majority of   
systems leak.  One tries to pick tools to bring down the costs 
for managing the leaks.

>In my practice, most of the real "knowledge" is in the XML documents at the

Certainly.   So in leakySpeak:

 <!ELEMENT semanticWeb (metaData, myKnowledge, yourKnowledge, ourKnowledge)*
 <!ELEMENT metaData (topicMap | RDF)* >
 <!ELEMENT myKnowledge (XMLSchema | DTD)+ >
 <!ELEMENT yourKnowledge (XMLSchema | DTD)+ >
 <!ELEMENT ourKnowledge (XSLT)* >

Simplistic, but we need some simplicity in this stuff so 
we can hide all the complexity from the rubes. ;-)  

>but RDF can provide important indexing and relationship expression
>between these nodes.

The topic map docs start with indexing too.  Then the claims become more 
"extended".  I'm not quite sure where for either system, the hand 
leaves the arm and flies around the room to do semantic magic, but 
in either case, at the bottom I seem to find a URI pointing to a 
resource or naming a resource.  

>So my point is that if all you need is expressive modeling,
>and you are (IMO) realistic about the involvement of programmers and
>human agents in the design, implementation and maintenance of a system,
>RDF modeling works very well.  I don't claim that this idea extrapolates
>to such an ambitious undertaking as the SW, and since I am able to get a
>good deal of work done in XML/RDF without needing the SW around, I tend
>not to bother myself too much with the issue, anyway.

Pick the tools and a realistic scope of work.  Again, I think you have 
it right. So:

o  UML isn't bringing much to the party unless one is creating
   programming code packages.  

o  If one wants to simply describe a scoped domain, starting from Topic Maps

   or RDF would work just as well given the noisiness of deriving it from

It still doesn't give one much to discriminate if one is saying,
association-is, etc.   Maybe it doesn't make much difference in which case, 
it comes down to dealer's choice.  On the other hand, the ambitions of those

you mention may be a little frustrated with regards to interoperation.
I don't have to care what is behind the service as long as I know what form 
I want a service to return the answer to a question in.


Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h