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Chiusano Joseph wrote:
> I was recently asked by a colleague to advise them on the "Different
> Format" problem.
Last month I wrote a short paper (based upon discussions on this list) on the
problem of producers and consumers using different formats:
I am currently updating this paper. I no longer believe that "canonical form"
is important (other than as an engineering technique to reduce complexity).
The upshot of the paper is this:
1. Use OWL to declaratively express the various formats.
2. Create an "include file" that converts from any form to any other form.
3. When an application receives data in a "foreign format" it simply invokes
the include file function, which returns it in the desired form.
(Alternatively, the application could employ a "mediator agent" which
intercepts the data and converts it to the application's desired form using
the include file. Thus, the application always "sees" the data in its desired
A key point:
1. In an open system where there are interactions that cannot be predicted
apriori, it is unreasonable to expect a "standard format". This is a key
point that I argue in "Living in a Schemaless Web":