Peter Schlumpf writes:
> You have hit the nail on the head!!!!! This is EXACTLY what I am
> trying to do! It's the underlying stuff that I am trying to get
> at. Looking at RDF may yield some good ideas. But I am not
> thinking in terms of RDF or XML, triples, or MARC, standards, or
> any of that stuff that gets thrown around here. Even the Internet
> is not terribly necessary. I am thinking in terms of data
> structures, pointers, sparse matrices, relationships between
> objects and yes, set theory too -- things like that. The former is
> pretty much cruft that lies upon the latter, and it mostly just
> gets in the way. Noise, as you put it, Bill!
> A big problem here is that Libraryland has a bad habit of getting
> itself lost in the details and going off on all kinds of tangents.
> As I said before, the biggest prison is between the ears!!!! Throw
> out all that junk in there and just start over! When I begin
> programming this thing my only tools will be a programming language
> (C or Java) a text editor (vi) and my head.
This is very idyllic and (I hope this doesn't sound too patronising)
probably necessary from time to time. But I've seen too many
initiatives like this that start out making huge conceptual strides
and then start tripping over all those gushdurned DETAILS. I think
it's disingenuous to talk as though the details aren't important: 90%
of every project is the details, and while the other 10% is the fun
part, building new conceptual frameworks usually seems to involve
throwing out all the accumulated crud, which -- guess what? -- turns
out to be the embodiment in code of accumulated wisdom. Babies,
bathwater, all that ... except that the bathwater turns out to be made
of millions of tiny babies, and -- what's that you say? My metaphor
has skidded off the track? Oh well.
/o ) \/ Mike Taylor <[log in to unmask]> http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\ "Are you suggesting that coconuts migrate?" -- Monty Python and
the Holy Grail.