Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Richard Cyganiaklinks to this post (0) comments
Q: Shouldn’t we concentrate more on RDF data and schema than OWL?
A: Maybe – but I’m a logician, not a database guy. Q: (Klaus Schild) Scalability? OWL is NP-complete.
A: Distribution helps. Certain combinations of operators are deadly, but if the two operators happen to end up on different nodes, things can be much faster. But in general it’s a problem. Q: But if you take the Web seriously, you need sub-linear complexity.
A: You can’t have that with RDF and OWL.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Jordan Zlatevlinks to this post (0) comments
I started as a computational linguist, but soon got disappointed at the complete inability of computational models to account for real, meaningful human language. I studied cognitive linguistics and cognitive science and experimented with connectionist modeling of language, but eventually have found these, like the old AI programs and parsers to be semiotically inadequate. Adaptive (evolutionary, epigenetic) robotics is a step in the right direction, but like all computational models it can only simulate rather than instantiate meaning, which now I am convinced is a property of living systems only. Accordingly I have moved further and further away from machines and towards biology and culture in the study of children, different languages and evolution.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Greg Stein via Dalelinks to this post (0) comments
He believed that existing systems spent too much time deciding how to structure data entry and presenting a detailed form for users to fill out. They also then lock down the display of the information. He decided to keep structured data entry to a minimum and rely on text entry. A lot happens with labels/tags/keywords, for instance, to assign priority. The new bug submission form consisted of a text area with a few questions already inside it. Greg makes a terrific point that could be applied more broadly to business applications, and might even be a design approach for Web 2.0 applications. A whole lot of effort goes into defining and refining the database structure behind most business apps. What is carefully placed in one bucket (or category or grouping) is not found when you look in another bucket. What if powerful full-text search tools change all that? What if instead of describing in detail the many specific fields of a record that might be important, and then having to train users on what they actually mean, and when to use them, you sidestep those tedious tasks and encourage users to write text. And write freely. The more the better. My hunch is that unstructured data can be richer and easier to collect than highly structured data, and therefore more valuable. It would be an interesting exercise to look at overdesigned business applications and consider how they might be designed to look less like a database and more like a conversation.
John Ousterhoutlinks to this post (0) comments
Unfortunately, everything in software leads to more complexity. There are various laws of physics people have discovered, and there are corresponding laws of software. The first law of software is that software systems tend towards increasing states of complexity. It's almost a perfect mirror of the First Law of Thermodynamics in physics