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Re: How to capture modeling information in WOL

From: Lynn Andrea Stein <lynn.stein@olin.edu>
Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 11:58:01 -0500
Message-ID: <3C348D98.EE2D3556@olin.edu>
To: www-webont-wg@w3.org

> Sure.  There are lots of pragmatic issues involving the creation and
> maintenance of collections of information.  However, without a firm syntax
> and semantics, pragmatic issues get bogged down in misunderstandings.

I think that the problem is that even with a firm syntax and semantics,
pragmatic issues get bogged down in misunderstandings (except maybe we
call them mistranslations or abuse of the langugage).

It's unlikely that we will agree on a single syntax and semantics that
will be used consistently and correctly by a community the size of the
web.  Or maybe you think that the world *will* adopt FOPC....I'm skeptical.

And there are at least two schools of thought on how to deal with this reality.

1) Be very firm about the *right* thing (the syntax, the semantics,
proper usage) and provide lots of scaffolding/correction/criticism when
some folks do things wrong.  This is the make-the-people-fit-the-machine
approach, and it's standard CS/Software engineering.

2) Recognize that there will be misuse, abuse, or what Donald Norman and
others would just call real use.  Design a system that accommodates to
the actual activities of real users, but which -- as a consequence --
may be more about, eg., negotiating misunderstandings than expressing
things "correctly".  I think that this is where XML has wound up, for
better or for worse.

Oh, and I guess there's a third approach:

3) Pretend there isn't a problem.

I really  hope we don't take #3.

Lynn
Received on Thursday, 3 January 2002 11:58:26 GMT

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