Re: A bit of bomb throwing....

From: Zack Rosen <>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2006 11:19:00 -0800

On Jan 17, 2006, at 11:38 PM, Rickard Öberg wrote:

> Zack Rosen wrote:
>> I think the sweet spot for real-world RDF store applications at
>> the moment are small to mid sized business like yours who have
>> the resources and wherewith-all to do the deep dive required to
>> implement the new technology. Companies such as yours who very
>> much in control your technology destiny are in a good position to
>> experiment as long as the developers who work for you are
>> comfortable with your platform.
> That could very well be true, and is probably precisely why I am
> working in a small business and not an "enterprise" setting. :-)


>> The problem is this work will not translate well to 'enterprise'
>> providers or widely adopted open-source projects. Large
>> companies are going to stick with proven technologies and open-
>> source projects (successful ones anyways) are going to stick with
>> simpler implementations. Upstart open-source projects will
>> inevitably come about to challenge the currently successful CMS's
>> but they will be fighting an uphill battle.
> That could very well be true, and I don't see that as necessarily
> evil. I mean, just for myself I am having a hard time deciding
> which RDF store to use (Jena, Sesame 1.2.3 or Sesame 2.0?), not to
> mention what query language to settle on (not even gonna try to
> enumerate these).
> "Enterprise" settings have a tendency to create lots and lots of
> code, so doing the "right decisions" is indeed critical, because
> they are hard to change once the ball starts rolling. I would never
> ever encourage an "enterprise" setting to use the same tactics and
> techniques as I do, because we have fundamentally different
> situations, from an "evolutionary perspective".

Exactly. But the roadmap for creating the semantic web currently
relies upon these enterprise or 'industry' adopters to take the
concepts and implement them. This simply isn't happening for these
obvious reasons.

>> I think the scalability issues are not the biggest obstacle to
>> RDF- Store adoption although they are going to be a serious pain
>> in the ass to work through. The problem is your going to have a
>> heck of a time convincing open-source developers to ditch their
>> simple, proven, and well understood methods of data retrieval and
>> internal representation such as straight SQL, stored procs, etc.
>> RDF stores are a new paradigm.
> Well, that's easy then, because I'm not in the "convincing"
> business :-)
> My perspective on this is simple. I do what I do, and others either
> follow or don't. Historically speaking those who follow seem to be
> doing quite well though, judging from the successes of JBoss,
> WebWork and XDoclet. But I do some stupid shit as well, and this
> may be one of them.
> In other words, the results are always what matters. Not words.
> That being said, as already mentioned it didn't take much
> "convincing" to get "Semantic Web" and "RDF" to be the "hot topic"
> of this years developer conferences here in Sweden, so I do expect
> there to be more talk about it soon here.

Which developers conference are you referring to?

I agree, it is results that matter the most not words. But to get
results you need to line up early adopters such as yourself who are
wiling to experiment.

>> For open source developers the question of adoption will hinge on
>> a cost-benefit analysis of: "How much will RDF stores cost me to
>> 1) understand community wide 2) implement 3) support long term VS
>> how much new functionality can I leverage with RDF object
>> stores?". The history of open-source web application projects is
>> littered with the carcasses of "very powerful" but overly complex
>> application environments. Just as Plone is being over-taken the
>> lighter-meaner Drupal ( Django and ROR
>> are starting to rip through the overly dense and verbose world of
>> JSP web-apps. Open-Source web app project leads are taking note
>> and the conclusions are going to make SW technology an even
>> harder sell
> Perhaps, but there's also a trend of people wanting more and more
> and more features, and there's always a limit to how far you can go
> with "simple tools". If RDF tools can become both easy AND
> powerful, then I think the situation will become much nicer.
> But time will tell.

It's a great concept and a worthy goal. I'm anxious to see your results.

Received on Wed Jan 18 2006 - 19:18:42 EST

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