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RE: [xml-dev] RE: Caution using XML Schema backward- orforward-compatibility as a versioning strategy for data exchange

REALITY ALERT: Yes, there will be (are) folks who will call a business
service who don't have a clear understanding of its purpose.  Adding a
managed semantic description of the service as Stephen suggests (at some
considerable cost, especially for maintenance) has not (ask any
professional librarian) and will not solve that problem, regardless of
the technological implementation (RDF, Web 3.0, or whatever).  It merely
shifts the problem, and to a large extent obfuscates it with ontologies
and other such white elephants.  A WSDL is indecipherable outside its
technological context and the corresponding service is unusable outside
its business context.  Adding a semantic layer merely recasts some small
part of the context, but not nearly enough to overcome the need for a
complete understanding of the business space in order to use a service
successfully in a business sense.  There are limits to what can be
practically automated, and the very concept of a "semantic web" crosses
that line, in my judgment.  In fifty years of schooling and work
experience, I've seen no evidence that any mechanism of any kind
whatever "obliges service consumers to 'understand' ".  You have to take
them by the hand, look into their eyes, and teach them, and even then
you can only hope that they get it.

Please forgive the bombast, and my apologies to all who are committed to
the semantic web.  I sincerely hope some good will come from it, even if
I can't see yet what that will be.

Bruce B Cox
Manager, Standards Development Division
US Patent & Trademark Office

The contents of this message are the personal opinions of the author and
must not be construed as an official statement of the USPTO.

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Green [mailto:stephengreenubl@gmail.com] 
Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2007 6:32 PM
To: Fraser Goffin
Cc: Costello, Roger L.; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] RE: Caution using XML Schema backward- or
forward-compatibility as a versioning strategy for data exchange

On 29/12/2007, Fraser Goffin <goffinf@googlemail.com> wrote:
> ... Is
> it really the case that we will have callers of a business service who
> DON'T have a clear understanding of it's purpose (semantics) ? ... and
> if the semantics aren't conveyed in the technical artefacts
> (WSDL/XSD), can we really have 'unknown' callers (h'mmm not sure) ??

So this supports my hunch that what we all need for a further
step is to start adding the semantics, via say RDF, etc, to the basic
and XSD of web services. This ties the semantics more firmly to the
It then obliges service consumers to 'understand' (both in the human,
hopefully also in the machine processing sense) the semantics when using
the syntax. It also will, hopefully, maximize the visibility of both
to semantics and to syntax/structure. Isn't this a natural extension of
semantic web/Web 3.0 principles and in a very worthwhile direction? More
intelligent web services?

Stephen Green

SystML, http://www.systml.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 117 9541606

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+22:37 .. and voice

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