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We'll go down a rabbit trail if we go too far here.
From: Bill de hOra [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>One of the things that helped kill the expert system industry was
>the (multi-dimensional) cost of extracting knowledge from experts.
Yes, because it was point of view oriented. On the other hand, pick
a specific domain in a specific locale (making Soup at Campbells)
and it works ok. That is why the expert systems builders drifted
into "capturing corporate expertise".
>Another thing was that an expert group is not usually an internally
>consistent body of knowledge. If part of the work building reusable
>XML vocabularies for commerce is extracting domain specific
>knowledge, then it's going to be tough to realise a return.
Scope the domain, then pick the partners for the transactions that
use that vocabulary. Again, ontological commitment is not based
on each member community doing the same thing. It is based on
returning the expected gesture and having a remediation clause
if that doesn't happen.
>I observe that ease of use is ultimately cultural or tribal. Think
>about learning languages. Is it easier to learn a language that
>uses ideograms or an alphabetic as primitives?
That is not cultural or tribal: it is representational. Behaviors
and representations should not be conflated. Language is typically
acquired behaviorally (spoken and heard). Then that knowledge is
mapped to the representation. Phonetics aren't hard to master
but correct spelling is. The size of a mastered vocabulary
varies greatly by individual and sometimes a group. It is difficult
to master a ideogram system in total, but not hard to acquire a
a subset. It is hard to learn to spell all of the words in a subset
but not as hard as the general vocabulary.
What is hard is to write ideograms well. An alphabet is easier.
Then medium becomes the issue. Carving curves in stone limited
alphabetic styles for some long time. Carving straight lines
limited the acquisition of abstract math.
Stopping here before we really drop off the edge.... ;-)