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[Visionaries] address@hidden: Re: [DotGNU]Implement RDF in a Universal D

From: Norbert Bollow
Subject: [Visionaries] address@hidden: Re: [DotGNU]Implement RDF in a Universal Data Structure]
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2003 00:29:19 +0200 (CEST)

------- Start of forwarded message -------
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 18:12:01 -0500
From: Seth Johnson <address@hidden>
Reply-To: address@hidden
Organization: Real Measures
X-Accept-Language: en
To: Danny Ayers <address@hidden>
CC: Norbert Bollow <address@hidden>, address@hidden
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Implement RDF in a Universal Data Structure
X-MDaemon-Deliver-To: address@hidden
X-Return-Path: address@hidden
X-UIDL: 2c5fe79eeede1a05f1fa6be7fd51f5c8

Danny Ayers wrote:
> > They don't think a universal data structure is possible.
> I'm not so sure - it isn't particularly difficult to come up with a
> universal data structure, if anything it's easier than the Turing Machine
> idea for processors. What really is difficult, perhaps impossible, is a data
> structure that will be more efficient than existing ones that have been
> optimised (or naturally selected) for a particular range of jobs. A tool
> that is as good at hammering as a hammer, yet can drive screws as well as
> any screwdriver? Now there is a challenge.

This is certainly true.  But there is an optimal structure, that's better
than one might think by such analogical thinking.  People think that state
and data models are arbitrarily complex.  Instead of Representational State
Transfer, think Universal State Transfer.  The model can be boiled down to
one that handles all your needs, not just in terms of modeling and querying

> > Somebody might be working on it, migth even have something
> > pretty similar.  The key though is to demonstrate its universality
> > and get it into general use.
> Yes and yes, with the latter IMHO being the hard part. There's no denying
> the Segway is a nifty bit of kit, but it's unlikely to replace the car,
> motorcycle, bicycle or even scooter (!) in the foreseeable future.

Well, demonstrating its universality is easy enough once you look at it.

>   Then it becomes a major factor in contending with the idea of
> > software (and now, standards) patents.  Paradoxically, once
> > you've worked it out, the model is extremely intuitive, not the
> > sort of thing anybody would believe ought to be "property."
> > Once you see it, it's really hard not to automatically use it
> > in your ordinary thinking processes.
> Which suggests to me (I sincerely hope to be proven wrong) that patents
> won't be a problem because of prior art.

Now you're trying to goad me, I can tell.  LOL -- I said that someone else
could be working on something very similar.  It's only a few steps away from
a few different things that I've seen, and parts are very similar to some.

I'm more interested in making the point that information is intrinsically
free, than beating a patent rap though prior art.

> (intrigued unbeliever ;-)


Seth Johnson

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