Re: [ontolog-forum] How de facto standards are created

On 6/17/13 9:32 AM, John F Sowa wrote:
> One of the problems of the Semantic Web and of ontology projects
> in general is that the official standards have an extremely slow
> adoption rate.  By comparison,
>    1. As soon as Tim B-L and his small group of implementers developed
>       the WWW as a means of sharing research papers, physicists at
>       every university and R & D center in the world adopted it.
>       Academics in other fields of science and engineering followed.
>    2. When the Mozilla project at the U. of Illinois implemented a browser
>       that integrated pictures with text, it became an instant hit. Early
>       adopters told their friends, and everybody who was connected to the
>       Internet downloaded it.  Commercial companies saw the adoption
>       rate and followed quickly.
>    3. The incompatibilities of JavaScript among vendors meant that
>       developers could not design complex code that would run on multiple
>       browsers -- even on different versions from the same vendor.  Then
>       ECMAScript harmonized the many versions, and the vendors adopted it.
>       But very few developers chose to use the more complex features.
>    4. Then Google developed a dynamic way of using JavaScript in Gmail
>       and Google Maps, and Jesse James Garrett gave it the catchy name
>       AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML) in 2005:
>       Then the adoption rate by developers grew exponentially.
> Points #1 and #2 show that de facto standards result from "killer apps"
> that are rapidly adopted and imitated.  The W3C was created four years
> *after* Tim B-L released his original software.  Point #3 shows that
> official organizations have an important role to play.  But point #4
> confirms the fact that a "killer app" is necessary to get attention.
> Last week, an article discussed the role that Apple is playing in
> getting attention for or against proposed standards:
> Some excerpts:
>> Near Field Communications’ evangelists have been trying to get smartphone
>> owners to share stuff by bumping and grinding their phones for years. And
>> progress has been painful, to put it mildly.
> That result is typical for a "proactive" standard that is not based on
> an earlier de facto standard.
>> The latest setback for the NFC-pushers’ cause comes courtesy of Apple.
>> During Monday’s WWDC keynote, Tim Cook & Co. were cracking jokes at the
>> tech’s expense as they previewed a feature coming in iOS 7 that does
>> the job of NFC without any of the awkwardness of NFC...
>> Instead, it’s adding AirDrop to iOS 7, which uses peer-to-peer Wi-Fi
>> to allow content to be shared to nearby iOS 7 devices without having
>> to physically tap anything together...
>> “No need to wander around the room bumping your phone.”
> Summary:
>> Apple often talks about how the things it chooses *not* to do are as
>> defining as the things it does. Well Apple doesn’t do NFC. And that
>> speaks volumes. Don’t forget, NFC is not new. It’s been kicking around
>> in phones since forever. And Apple still reckons it sucks.
> Historical note:  After leaving Cyc, Guha went to Apple, where he
> designed the first version of what became RDF.  But Apple did not
> adopt it for any products.  Then Guha went to Netscape, where he
> worked with Tim Bray to develop the XML-based version, which the
> W3C adopted.
> During the 2000s, Nokia poured millions of euros into R & D for RDF,
> OWL, and other technology based on Semantic Web standards.  But Apple
> ignored the SW.  So did Google, Microsoft, etc.

I've also cc'd in the LOD mailing list due to the fact that many 
elements of this discussion relate to recent debates on the 
aforementioned list.


In recent times, Linked Data has created a killer application for the 
Web in its ability to enable Web-scale structured data representation, 
publication, and publication. What I mention is exemplified by Linked 
Open Data (LOD) cloud [1].

The LOD cloud has even extended its network effects (as I presented 
earlier on this year during the ontology life cycle summit [2] ) to 
vocabularies, which in turn has spawned the Linked Open Vocabularies 
(LOV) cloud [3].

As for adoption by large companies, Google's Guha and Dan Brickley (no 
strangers to RDF) have also added [4] to this powerful killer 
app. cocktail comprised of structured data and shared vocabularies.  In 
addition, Oracle [5] and IBM [6] are already on board.

Beyond, Google is encouraging its developers to take 
advantage of JSON-LD (which is supported in GMAIL and Rich Snippets 
etc..) [7].

Of course, you have some laggards who are still grappling with their 
older platform-specific initiatives in this realm e.g., Microsoft's 
Entity Frameworks component of ADO.NET [8][9], and in similar fashion, 
Apple's Core Data [10].

It is all coming together, fast :-)


[1] -- lod cloud pictorial circa. 2011 (we are now 
way over 50 Billion triples and on an exponential growth curve)
[2] -- ontology life cycle summit presentation 
(showing webby nature of structured data and vocabularies)
[3] -- linked open vocabularies cloud
[4] --
[5] -- 
interview with Oracle's VP of Development
-- IBM and Linked Data Platform (LDP) initiative
[7] -- 
Google's JSON-LD adoption
[8] -- Microsoft 
Entity Frameworks
[9] -- 
Microsoft DataRelation object (part of ADO.NET)
[10] -- Apple's Core Data.


> John
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Kingsley Idehen	
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OpenLink Software
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Received on Monday, 17 June 2013 14:42:26 UTC