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RE: Genuine interoperability & the tower of Babel

From: Ugo Corda <UCorda@SeeBeyond.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 08:39:57 -0700
Message-ID: <EDDE2977F3D216428E903370E3EBDDC90812C5@MAIL01.stc.com>
To: "Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)" <RogerCutler@chevrontexaco.com>, "Anders W. Tell" <opensource@toolsmiths.se>, <www-ws-arch@w3.org>

For what concerns UBL, I found a UBL Ontology Project at http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?UblOntology .
From the Project Mission: 
"Develop a formal ontology of the UBL Business Information Entities. 
Create an application that uses the ontology in a practical way."

Ugo

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler) 
> [mailto:RogerCutler@chevrontexaco.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 7:21 AM
> To: Anders W. Tell; www-ws-arch@w3.org
> Cc: Ugo Corda
> Subject: RE: Genuine interoperability & the tower of Babel
> 
> 
> Is the UBL group in OASIS in this space too?  As far as I 
> have been able
> to figure out they may be more in the business of making a 
> framework to
> put such information into -- but it seems to me that the 
> UN/CEFACT work
> has something of that flavor, too.  Whether we are talking about
> competing or harmonizing frameworks is utterly unclear to me.
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Anders W. Tell [mailto:opensource@toolsmiths.se] 
> Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 5:38 AM
> To: www-ws-arch@w3.org
> Cc: Ugo Corda
> Subject: Re: Genuine interoperability & the tower of Babel
> 
> 
> 
> Hi Ugo,
> 
> One of the initiatives is the Core Components work done by UN/CEFACT 
> Techologies and Methodologies group. 
> <http://webster.disa.org/cefact-groups/tmg/> (site is down for the 
> moment) See download/general menu for downloadable documents.
> 
> This groups work with technology neutral semantic 
> interoperability with 
> well defined mappings to EDIFACT and XML.
> 
> /anders
> 
> Ugo Corda wrote:
> 
> >I recently came across an initiative that seems to address 
> this type of
> 
> >issues. It's called Universal Data Element Framework (or UDEF - see 
> >http://www.udef.org/). According to its Web page, "the 
> objective of the
> 
> >UDEF is to provide a means of real-time identification for semantic 
> >equivalency, as an attribute to data elements within e-business 
> >document and integration formats".
> >
> >If somebody else knows of similar initiatives, it would be nice to 
> >mention them in our document.
> >
> >Ugo
> >
> >  
> >
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: www-ws-arch-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:www-ws-arch-request@w3.org]On
> >>Behalf Of Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)
> >>Sent: Monday, September 22, 2003 7:26 PM
> >>To: Champion, Mike; Frank McCabe; www-ws-arch@w3.org
> >>Subject: RE: Genuine interoperability & the tower of Babel
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>I agree with Mike's answer -- but I also agree with Frank's 
> analysis. 
> >>Three or five years ago we sort of thought that the XML 
> bandwagon was 
> >>going to solve this by industry-wide efforts to define 
> common formats 
> >>for core data.  I know this very well because I wrote 
> various program 
> >>plans based on this assumption that I now either live with 
> or modify 
> >>accordingly. Whether this did not happen because it is very 
> difficult,
> 
> >>or whether it didn't happen because there was no analogy to 
> MS/IBM/BEA
> 
> >>to force the process is probably not relevant -- it has not 
> happened.
> >>
> >>This is a shame, but we must somehow struggle on.
> >>
> >>So, Frank, granted that this is a problem, and an expensive 
> one, just 
> >>what do you propose doing about it?  Weeping, gnashing our 
> teeth and 
> >>rending our garments is probably indicated, but once we 
> have done all 
> >>that, do you have any other suggestions?
> >>
> >>I would personally not be very receptive if your 
> suggestions involved 
> >>starting over from square one in the WSA.
> >>
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: Champion, Mike [mailto:Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com]
> >>Sent: Monday, September 22, 2003 9:10 PM
> >>To: Frank McCabe; www-ws-arch@w3.org
> >>Subject: RE: Genuine interoperability & the tower of Babel
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> 
> >>
> >>    
> >>
> >>>-----Original Message-----
> >>>From: Frank McCabe [mailto:frankmccabe@mac.com]
> >>>Sent: Monday, September 22, 2003 9:40 PM
> >>>To: www-ws-arch@w3.org
> >>>Subject: Genuine interoperability & the tower of Babel
> >>>
> >>>      
> >>>
> >> 
> >>    
> >>
> >>>The tower of Babel referred to above is the huge number of 
> >>>application-specific systems that can't leverage each 
> other because 
> >>>of trivial but lethal incompatibilities. There has to be a better 
> >>>way.
> >>>
> >>>Before we look at solutions, it is helpful to see that there is a 
> >>>problem. Is this analysis off the mark, and if so, why?
> >>>      
> >>>
> >>I'm not sure.  There's a danger in taking things one step 
> at a time if
> 
> >>the steps don't lead anywyhere, e.g. climing a tree as the 
> first step 
> >>to get to the moon. But there's also a danger in saying 
> that it does 
> >>no good to get to the moon if you really really want to reach the 
> >>stars.
> >>
> >>Let's look at the world of 15 years ago vs the world of
> >>today, the near
> >>term future, and the future we want to shape.  15 years ago 
> a typical
> >>computer simply could not communicate with another computer 
> chosen at
> >>random, except very inefficiently and with all sorts of human
> >>intervention (remember zmodem etc.?). That's because there 
> >>was no common
> >>wire level protocol or addressing scheme (in widespread use 
> >>anyway).  10
> >>years ago the Internet solved that problem at the lowest 
> level for at
> >>least the typical commercial/university system, but there 
> >>wasn't much in
> >>the way of common data formats or application-level 
> >>protocols.  5 years
> >>ago HTTP and HTML solved those problems for human-readable 
> >>text, but not
> >>for machine-machine interaction without human intervention. 
>  Today XML
> >>and SOAP/WSDL are providing the framework for machine-machine
> >>interaction, but there are a bazillion details such as transactions,
> >>choreography, security, etc. etc. etc. that have to be worked 
> >>out in an
> >>ad hoc way.  In 5 year we'll presumably have this stuff 
> standardized,
> >>BUT THEN we will still face the problems that Frank is 
> >>talking about.  
> >>
> >>So, I think that the WSA document needs to focus on the 
> issues facing 
> >>the next few years, and simply make reference to the problems of 
> >>automating the semantic alignment of operations and data that will 
> >>still be there when the short-term issues are solved.
> >>
> >>So, there is a problem, but lots of useful work can be done without 
> >>solving it, and there are worse problems to solve first. After all, 
> >>businesses have been coping with these semantic mismatches for 
> >>centuries while the mechanical aspects of business 
> communication have 
> >>been improved.  Sure, at some point the mechanical stuff will be
> >>nailed down
> >>and then the labor-intensive, error-prone approaches used by 
> >>application
> >>writers to align semantics will be the worst problems that systems
> >>integrators face, but there is a lot of work to do before we 
> >>are in that
> >>situation.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>    
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >  
> >
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
Received on Wednesday, 24 September 2003 11:45:32 GMT

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