Re: "destabilizing core technologies: was Re: An RDF wishlist


On 7/2/2010 5:58 AM, Henry Story wrote:
> On 2 Jul 2010, at 11:39, Patrick Durusau wrote:
>> Good point. But the basic tools to handle data have been around for a long time.
> The web could only get going in the 90ies when
>    1) Windows 95 become (A GUI) widely deployed and relatively stable and had support for threads
>    2) modems were cheap and available
>    [3 the soviet unions had fallen, so the fear mongers had no security buttons to press]
> In 1997 the SSL layer (https) gave an extra boost as it made commerce possible.
Err, you are omitting one critical fact. The one that lead to TBL's 
paper being rejected from the hypertext conference. Links could fail.

That is reportedly one of the critical failings of early hypertext 
systems was that links could not be allowed to fail. That blocked any 
sort of global scaling.

Hmmm, wonder what happens when links fail with RDF, considering that it 
requires the yet to be implemented 303 solution?

>> Why so long to get to the place where users can say: "I want to make one of those." ?
>     There are many reasons, but most of all is that people don't in fact understand hypertext, as being linked information. Or the people in charge of data don't think of it that way easily.
Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by:

"that people in fact don't understand hypertest, as being linked 
information." ???

>     Engineers have for 50 years been educated in closed world systems, every programming language
> including Prolog and lisp have local naming conventions that don't scale globally, and database people
> make a fortune with SQL. The people interact only very lightly with the web. Usually there is a layer of "Web Monkeys" in between them and the web.

The reason I don't understand your earlier point or this one is that 
users for hundreds of years have been well familiar with texts making 
references to other texts, which to my mind qualifies as "hypertext," 
even if it did not have the mechanical convenience of HTML.

What else do you think hypertext would be?

>     So when you ask those engineers to build a global distributed information system, they
> come up with the closest to what they know - which is remote method calls - and they invent XML/RPC which leads to SOAP.
>    So it is not easy to get the knowledgeable people on board. The Web Monkeys are not very good at modelling, and the back end engineers don't understand the web. Finally the business people have problems understanding abstract concepts such as network effect.
>    It just took time then to do a few demos, which the University of Berlin put together, slowly getting other people on board.
>    It just takes time to rewire the brain of millions of people.

Well, I am not so sure that we need to "rewire the brain of millions of 
people." so much as we need to have our technologies adapt to them. Yes?

Granting that consumers can and do adapt to some technologies, the more 
consistent a technology is with how people think and work the easier its 
adoption. Yes?

Hope you are looking forward to a great weekend!


Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)

Another Word For It (blog):
Twitter: patrickDurusau

Received on Friday, 2 July 2010 10:52:11 UTC