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

I agree.  Nothing replaces a good technical manual, a class and a willing
student.   If one calls that 'friction', one missed the important topics in
business school or never attended.  Negotiations cannot be avoided for
anything more complex than a commodity on a store shelf.  Services are not
usually shelf commodities and when they are, anything more complicated than
a checklist of options is likely to fail in litigation.  Avoiding complexity
in business transactions is a very strong way to succeed.  Avoiding long
lifecycle transactions when needed is a very strong way to fail.  

No Free Lunch.

Again:  it is about communication.  The solutions to the Golem problem are
communicating with it and ensuring it does not have nor require sovereignty.


From: Cox, Bruce [mailto:Bruce.Cox@USPTO.GOV] 
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

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