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   Re: [xml-dev] XML Data Modellling/Linking (was RE: [xml-dev] Afte rXQuer

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On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 08:21:39 -0500, Bullard, Claude L (Len)
<len.bullard@intergraph.com> wrote:

> That will be more complex than Hytime, Michael.

Quite possibly.  Starting with something as abstract as OWL does take
the well-known path into the weeds of trying to solve intractable
concrete problems by abstracting way reality into a form that can be
solved.  That has some notable successes (Newton comes to mind!) but
numerous failures, of the sort Joel Spolsky talks about in his
Architecture Astronauts essay

The way to deal with complexity, in my very humble opinion, is to
start with the simple and proven,such as HTML-ish one-way links (and
most people can stop there).  For those who can't, the question
whether to support multiple complex ways of specifying relationships
of different directions, types, semantics, etc.  or to try to converge
on one that more or less works for all.  Likewise, to really help real
people the solution must have the network effect working to push it
forward as well as some evolutionary selection pressure to keep it
down to the bare minimum.  HyTime, XLink, Topic Maps, etc. clearly
don't have the communities that generate the network effect and
selection pressure needed.  I'm not at all sure that OWL does either,
but it does have a) a lot of smart peole building it; b) the W3C
powers-that-be pushing it, and c) some extremely deep pockets in DC
funding it and applying it.

With a gun to my head, I'd predict that OWL has the best chance among
current technologies of leading to a breakthrough in the
Modeling/Linking area, but I certainly wouldn't bet the farm that it
will avoid the fate of HyTime.


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