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RE: [xml-dev] Caught napping!

It isn't difficult.  We table-drive our GUIs for 
the most part and any field they are adding is 
for an explicit control they add as well.  So 
it isn't hard to maintain.  The dilemma is that they can 
add a field for the same purpose as a field 
we provide in an upgrade, and now there is an 
overlap.    XML is nothing moreorless 
than an additional toolbag.  A native XML DB is 
something else, but we don't use one of those 
today so not on the radar here.  Mainly, relational 
dbs have a well-established practice, optimized 
indexes, and so on.  XMLasDB doesn't bring much to the
party that we can't do already and do quite 
efficiently with COTS tools.  It does have advantages 
when the content is purely a document but that 
gets into yet another argument for which there 
is a considerable amount of middle ground, so 
only resolvable in the extremes.  Most of us don't 
live on edge cases.

To answer your question, de-basing: I'm too old to take 
up the cause of purity again and found it too boring 
the last time around.  To some, HTML is de-based. 
To others, it is a practical approach to an 
immediate problem.  

"I want candy".  "OK," Mom says, "But it rots your teeth 
and will make you fat."

How useful the SemWeb is will be determined by 
how much money people are willing to spend building 
metadata for others to profit from.  But there is nothing 
new about ontologies, expert systems (CWM), or any of that. 
It's yet another database.  There are as Andrew points 
out, problems of privacy, but this problem is there 
all the time for every db built.   The question is, 
who gets to see the data?  Industry, government, individuals, 
corporations already collect and exchange enormous 
amounts of personal information.  Some will say, 
"the danger is they reason over it and draw conclusions 
that may be false."  That is a problem.  The bigger 
problem is that they do that and the person(s) about 
whom conclusions are drawn are unaware of it, have 
few recourses to refute that which they don't see, and 
for them, the world appears to move by magic, fate 
or conspiracy when in fact, it is just amplified error. 

So the SemWeb becomes a comedy if you feel, and a tragedy 
if you think (to borrow from the Bard).  I have an image 
in mind of two rooms at a local mall, one for aerobics 
and one for square dancers, and on a certain night, 
the instructors for each go to the wrong rooms.


-----Original Message-----
From: Peter J. Gale [mailto:thesemanticweb@yahoo.co.uk]

> ... Mainly, we try to determine where they 
> add the extensions and that is a little hairy.
> In a nutshell, we evolve relational dbs everyday 
> with every release.

But that doesn't sound easy, and the problems of
inter-relating different schema will get more and more
difficult with each release, no?

At what point will the problems become too complex for
us to deal with?

> The Internet Society is sort of like 
> Santa's workshop:  just another fanciful reason 
> for parents to buy new toys and fool the kids.

The internet is something potentially very useful in
our everyday lives, especially if the Semantic Web
ever gets up and running. There will always be room
for people to sells toys (we all like some light
amusement) but it also has a serious side also - a
potential to increase shared knowledge &

As developers, do we not need to consider it a
responsibility to give something genuinely of
long-term benefit also, rather than just debase the
medium we profit from?