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Re: Show me the money - (was Subjects as Literals)

From: John Erickson <olyerickson@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 08:14:15 -0400
Message-ID: <AANLkTil3J0BloYf0k8D0pSZeq77ZkVvCCdXoRlNblTfE@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jeremy Carroll <jeremy@topquadrant.com>, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, Yves Raimond <yves.raimond@gmail.com>, Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>, David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, nathan@webr3.org, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
I greatly respect Jeremy's thoughts, and they may be spot-on in this
case, but I urge the community to be cautious about how much weight to
give this kind of "pragmatic" economics-driven argument generally as
the semantic technology industry grows.

Virtually every organization has -- should have! -- increasing "vested
interests" in their own unique approach. In many cases, their
stakeholders may be better-served by maintaining the status quo; many
others will be served by upsetting the collective apple cart. Progress
is made collectively by hearing out and sometimes acting on
well-reasoned arguments from the other side, even if the implications
are changing one's code base!

Industry consortia move things that look and smell like standards --
W3C recommendations -- ahead by appealing to the "greater good." Thus
I interpret Jeremy's comments as not a call to halt progress; rather,
he's simply asking for a strong case be made that the proposed changes
would benefit the *community* in a compelling way. He's asking for
well-reasoned arguments for change that colleagues around the
ecosystem might present to their grumpy, grey-suited, money-grubbing,
cigar-smoking management ;)


On Sun, Jul 4, 2010 at 10:51 PM, Jeremy Carroll <jeremy@topquadrant.com> wrote:
>  On 7/1/2010 8:44 PM, Pat Hayes wrote:
>> Jeremy, your argument is perfectly sound from your company's POV, but not
>> from a broader perspective. Of course, any change will incur costs by those
>> who have based their assumptions upon no change happening
> I was asking for the economic benefit of the change, as opposed to the
> elegance benefit.
> Personally, I am wholly convinced by the elegance argument - but it will not
> convince my management, nor should it.
> I suspect there are several other companies and other open source activities
> that have investments that assume literals do not occur in subject position.
> Elegance is not, IMO, a sufficient argument to negate those investments.
> (The sort of thing we are talking about, is what sort of display is
> appropriate for a subject of a triple - we know that it is not a literal, so
> certain code paths, and options are not considered).
> Of course, in an industrial consortium costs to one member maybe justified
> by benefits to another - but costs to any member do need to be offset by
> some benefit to some member ... I have yet to see much of an argument (Henry
> got a small bit of the way), that there are any such benefits (i.e. ones
> which have a dollar, euro or yuan value). I have pointed to dollar costs ...
> I expect to see some such benefit. I don't think that expectation is
> unreasonable, more a boundary that keeps people honest ... and not just
> indulging in an intellectual game (he says politely).
> Jeremy

John S. Erickson, Ph.D.
Twitter: @olyerickson
Received on Monday, 5 July 2010 12:14:54 UTC

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