## Archive for the ‘Standards’ Category

### Apologies for Sudden Slowdown

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Sorry about the sudden slow down!

I have a couple of posts for today and will be back at full strength tomorrow.

I got distracted by a standards dispute at OASIS where a TC wanted an “any model” proposal to be approved as an OASIS standard.

Literally, the conformance clause says “must” but when you look at the text, it says any old model will do.

Hard to think of that as a standard.

If you are interested, see: Voting No on TGF at OASIS.

Deadline is tomorrow so if you know anyone who is interested, spread the word.

### Opening Standards: The Global Politics of Interoperability

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Opening Standards: The Global Politics of Interoperability Edited by Laura DeNardis.

Overview:

Openness is not a given on the Internet. Technical standards–the underlying architecture that enables interoperability among hardware and software from different manufacturers–increasingly control individual freedom and the pace of innovation in technology markets. Heated battles rage over the very definition of “openness” and what constitutes an open standard in information and communication technologies. In Opening Standards, experts from industry, academia, and public policy explore just what is at stake in these controversies, considering both economic and political implications of open standards. The book examines the effect of open standards on innovation, on the relationship between interoperability and public policy (and if government has a responsibility to promote open standards), and on intellectual property rights in standardization–an issue at the heart of current global controversies. Finally, Opening Standards recommends a framework for defining openness in twenty-first-century information infrastructures.

Contributors discuss such topics as how to reflect the public interest in the private standards-setting process; why open standards have a beneficial effect on competition and Internet freedom; the effects of intellectual property rights on standards openness; and how to define standard, open standard, and software interoperability.

If you think “open standards” have impact, what would you say about “open data?”

At a macro level, “open data” has many of the same issues as “open standards.”

At a micro level, “open data” has unique social issues that drive the creation of silos for data.

So far as I know, a serious investigation of the social dynamics of data silos has yet to be written.

Understanding the dynamics of data silos might, no guarantees, lead to better strategies for dismantling them.

Suggestions for research/reading on the social dynamics of data silos?

### Forget standards … you’ll never get one [Of plugs, adapters, standards and many things]

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Forget standards … you’ll never get one by Chris Skinner.

A post by Ed Dodds on the ontologies-based-standards@ontolog.cim3.net list pointed me to this rather interesting post in finance of all places.

Chris writes:

Anyways, after coffee I got into a chat with the Standards Forum and one of their brethren told me that banks are childish about standards.

Childish?

Yes, he said. I deal with many industries – automotive, airlines, utilities and more – and banks are really juvenile when it comes to agreeing standards. For example, I asked a group of senior bankers the other day: “how many legs are there in an OTC Derivative exchange”.

One said two, the two counterparties; another said three or four, if you include the end customer; and two others said an infinite number.

Then they argued about it and could not agree.

I said: “there you go. If you cannot even agree on a simple question about OTC Derivatives, you will never agree global standards.”

I laughed and asked what the solution was.

He said: “avoid a global standard as you will never have one. You’ve tried for years and you will never agree such a thing. Instead, work on adapters.”

In other words, like electricity, we need plug adapters to our networks, not standards.

Totally agree with that.

Well, yes and no as to “Totally agree with that.”

Yes, there won’t be any universal standards, but no, that doesn’t mean we need to forget about standards.

Take “plug adapters” for example. Plug adapters could not exist without standards for the plugs that go into plug adapters. Yes?

We need to forget “universal” standards and instead concentrate on “local” standards. Standards that extend only so far as we are competent to define them.

Leave the task of writing standards adapters to people with experience with one or more “local” standards who have a need for the adapter.

They will be far more aware of the requirements for the adapter than we are.

Sounds like a use case for topic maps doesn’t it?

### Standards and Infrastructure for Innovation Data Exchange [#6000]

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Standards and Infrastructure for Innovation Data Exchange by Laurel L. Haak, David Baker, Donna K. Ginther, Gregg J. Gordon, Matthew A. Probus, Nirmala Kannankutty and Bruce A. Weinberg. (Science 12 October 2012: Vol. 338 no. 6104 pp. 196-197 DOI: 10.1126/science.1221840)

Appropriate that post number six thousand (6000) should report an article on data exchange standards.

But the article seems to be at war with itself.

Consider:

There is no single database solution. Data sets are too large, confidentiality issues will limit access, and parties with proprietary components are unlikely to participate in a single-provider solution. Security and licensing require flexible access. Users must be able to attach and integrate new information.

Unified standards for exchanging data could enable a Web-based distributed network, combining local and cloud storage and providing public-access data and tools, private workspace “sandboxes,” and versions of data to support parallel analysis. This infrastructure will likely concentrate existing resources, attract new ones, and maximize benefits from coordination and interoperability while minimizing resource drain and top-down control.

As quickly as the authors say “[t]here is no single database solution.”, they take a deep breath and outline the case for a uniform data sharing structure.

If there is no “single database solution,” it stands to reason there is no single infrastructure for sharing data. The same diversity that blocks the single database, impedes the single exchange infrastructure.

We need standards, but rather than unending quests for enlightened permanence, we should focus on temporary standards, to be replaced by other temporary standards, when circumstances or needs change.

A narrow range required to demonstrate benefits from temporary standards is a plus as well. A standard enabling data integration between departments at a hospital, one department at a time, will show benefits (if there are any to be had), far sooner than a standard that requires universal adoption prior to any benefits appearing.

The Topic Maps Data Model (TMDM) is an example of a narrow range standard.

While the TMDM can be extended, in its original form, subjects are reliably identified using IRI’s (along with data about those subjects). All that is required is that one or more parties use IRIs as identifiers, and not even the same IRIs.

The TMDM framework enables one or more parties to use their own IRIs and data practices, without prior agreement, and still have reliable merging of their data.

I think it is the without prior agreement part that distinguishes the Topic Maps Data Model from other data interchange standards.

We can skip all the tiresome discussion about who has the better name/terminology/taxonomy/ontology for subject X and get down to data interchange.

Data interchange is interesting, but what we find following data interchange is even more so.

More on that to follow, sooner rather than later, in the next six thousand posts.

### Cliff Bleszinski’s Game Developer Flashcards

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Cliff Bleszinski’s Game Developer Flashcards by Cliff Bleszinski.

From the post:

As of this summer, I’ll have been making games for 20 years professionally. I’ve led the design on character mascot platform games, first-person shooters, single-player campaigns, multiplayer experiences, and much more. I’ve worked with some of the most amazing programmers, artists, animators, writers, and producers around. Throughout this time period, I’ve noticed patterns in how we, as creative professionals, tend to communicate.

I’ve learned that while developers are incredibly intelligent, they can sometimes be a bit insecure about how smart they are compared to their peers. I’ve seen developer message boards tear apart billion-dollar franchises, indie darlings, and everything in between by overanalyzing and nitpicking. We always want to prove that we thought of an idea before anyone else, or we will cite a case in which an idea has been attempted, succeeded, failed, or been played out.

In short, this article identifies communication techniques that are often used in discussions, arguments, and debates among game developers in order to “win” said conversations.

Written in a “game development” context but I think you can recognize some of these patterns in standards work, ontology development and other areas as well.

I did not transpose/translate it into standards lingo, reasoning that it would be easier to see the mote in someone else’s eye than the plank in our own.

Only partially in jest.

Listening to others is hard, listening to ourselves (for patterns like these), is even harder.

I first saw this at: Nat Turkington’s Four short links: 21 August 2012.

### Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC)

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC)

This is one of the efforts mentioned in: Linked Data: Esperanto for APIs?.

Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) is a community of software developers and organizations that is working to standardize the way that software lifecycle tools can share data (for example, requirements, defects, test cases, plans, or code) with one another.

We want to make integrating lifecycle tools a practical reality. (emphasis in original)

That’s a far cry from:

At the very least, however, a generally accepted approach to linking data within applications that make the whole programmable Web concept more accessible to developers of almost every skill level should not be all that far off from here.

It has an ambitious but well-defined scope, which will lend itself to the development and testing of standards for the interchange of information.

Despite semantic diversity, those are tasks that can be identified and that would benefit from standardization.

There is measurable ROI for participants who use the standard in a software lifecycle. They are giving up semantic diversity in exchange for other tangible benefits.

An effort to watch as a possible basis for integrating older software lifecycle tools.

### NoSQL Standards [query languages - tuples anyone?]

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Andrew Oliver write at InfoWorld: The time for NoSQL standards is now – Like Larry Ellison’s yacht, the RDBMS is sailing into the sunset. But if NoSQL is to take its place, a standard query language and APIs must emerge soon.

A bit dramatic for my taste but a good overview of possible areas for standardization for NoSQL.

Problem: NoSQL query languages are tied to the base format/data structure of their implementation.

For that matter, you could say the same thing about SQL. The query language is tied to the data structure.

I am not sure how you can have a query language that isn’t tied to a notion of structure. Even a very abstract one. That a NoSQL implementation could map against its data structure.

Tuples anyone?

Pointers and resources welcome!

### keeptheweb#OPEN

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

keeptheweb#OPEN

Have you seen this?

Thinking of it in the context of standards work, particularly for topic maps.

Standardized mappings for taxonomies sounds to me like a useful topic map type activity. Having the ability to comment and process comments on drafts in a public fashion, sounds good to me.

### ISO 25964-­-1 Thesauri for information retrieval

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Information and documentation -­- Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies -­- Part 1: Thesauri for information retrieval

Actually that is the homepage for Networked Knowledge Organization Systems/Services – N K O S but the lead announcement item is for ISO 25964-1, etc.

From that webpage:

New international thesaurus standard published

ISO 25964-­-1 is the new international standard for thesauri, replacing ISO 2788 and ISO 5964. The full title is Information and documentation -­- Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies -­- Part 1: Thesauri for information retrieval. As well as covering monolingual and multilingual thesauri, it addresses 21st century needs for data sharing, networking and interoperability.

Content includes:

• construction of mono-­- and multi-­-lingual thesauri;
• clarification of the distinction between terms and concepts, and their inter-­-relationships;
• guidance on facet analysis and layout;
• guidance on the use of thesauri in computerized and networked systems;
• best practice for the management and maintenance of thesaurus development;
• guidelines for thesaurus management software;
• a data model for monolingual and multilingual thesauri;
• brief recommendations for exchange formats and protocols.

An XML schema for data exchange has been derived from the data model, and is available free of charge at http://www.niso.org/schemas/iso25964/ . Coming next ISO 25964-­-1 is the first of two publications. Part 2: Interoperability with other vocabularies is in the public review stage and will be available by the end of 2012.

Find out how you can obtain a copy from the news release.

Let me help you there, the correct number is: ISO 25964-1:2011 and the list price for a PDF copy is CHF 238,00, or in US currency (today), $257.66 (for 152 pages). Shows what I know about semantic interoperability. If you want semantic interoperability, you change people$1.69 per page (152 pages) for access to the principles of thesauri to be used for information retrieval.

ISO/IEC and JTC 1 are all parts of a system of viable international (read non-vendor dominated) organizations for information/data standards. They are the natural homes for the management of data integration standards that transcend temporal, organizational, governmental and even national boundaries.

But those roles will not fall to them by default. They must seize the initiative and those roles. Clinging to old-style publishing models for support makes them appear timid in the face of current challenges.

Even vendors recognize their inability to create level playing fields for technology/information standards. And the benefits that come to vendors from de jure as well as non-de jure standards organizations.

ISO/IEC/JTC1, provided they take the initiative, can provide an international, de jure home for standards that form the basis for information retrieval and integration.

The first step to take is to make ISO/IEC/JTC1 information standards publicly available by default.

The second step is to call up all members and beneficiaries, both direct and indirect, of ISO/IEC/JTC 1 work, to assist in the creation of mechanisms to support the vital roles played by ISO/IEC/JTC 1 as de jure standards bodies.

We can all learn something from ISO 25964-1 but how many of us will with that sticker price?

### Project ISO 25964-1 Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Project ISO 25964-1 Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies

From the webpage:

This is an international standard development project of ISO Technical Committee 46 (Information and documentation) Subcommittee 9 (Identification and description). The assigned Working Group (known as ISO TC46/SC9/WG8) is revising, merging, and extending two existing international standards: ISO 2788 and ISO 5964. The end product is a new standard—ISO 25964, Information and documentation – Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies—supporting the development and application of thesauri in today’s expanding context of networking opportunities. It is being published in two parts, as follows:

ISO 25964, Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies

• Part 1: Thesauri for information retrieval
• Part 2: Interoperability with other vocabularies

Part 1 was published in August, 2011 and Part 2 is due to appear by the end of 2011.

Unless you have \$332 (US) burning a hole in your pocket, you probably want to visit: Format for Exchange of Thesaurus Data Conforming to ISO 25964-1, which has the XML schema plus documentation, etc., await for your use.

I am very interested in how they handled interoperability in part 2.

### Editing Geeks

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Top 25 Blogs for Editing Geeks

Something for those of us who are concerned with documentation and standards.

There is a lot of documentation, not to mention standards, in the topic maps area that could use attention.

Rather ironic that documentation for topic maps should be sub-par since the topic maps adventure started off as a software documentation project.

Perhaps getting our own house in order might make topic maps more appealing to others as well as giving all of us better documentation for existing topic map applications.