The key question then seems to be: how to develop a standard
that is semantically rich, can be useful and even commercially
attractive within a short period of time (less than one year) and
allows the owners of the information and knowledge to keep control
and ownership. This is important for bringing new instruments to
the market (section 1.3).
The suggestion put forward in this research is fourfold. The
cost of use should be minimal; there should be as much application
support as possible; development should be lightweight; the
development should be supply/demand-oriented. These four points are
- Low cost of use
- All other things being equal, a lower price increases demand.
The suggestion for this concept solution is to make the usage free
of charge. Free of charge does not equate to low quality, as is
exemplified by wikipedia, the free, on-line encyclopedia .
- Much application support
- Application support will depend on individual economic
decisions on the part of the software vendors. What can be done,
though, is to do away with all barriers for the software vendors.
So: no mandatory membership of an organisation, no fees payable
before you're allowed to access the Ontology,
no risk by tying yourself to one platform vendor. This all can be
achieved by making the Ontology
open source. This makes the
free in the sense of `gratis' and free in the sense of freedom to
use, freedom to change, freedom to redistribute. One restriction
that might be a good idea is to demand that the redistributed or
contents be freely available under the same conditions, this as a
safeguard against an embrace-and-extend attack by another market
With the same-condition restriction, the FDL is recommended as
the most common , otherwise the
When a purely commercial Ontology
approach is chosen, adoption will depend almost solely on political
decisions in BC.
Such a central position that covers most of BC's information exchange can
only be granted by a large majority of parties, all in agreement on
granting that central position to one commercial entity.
- Lightweight development
- Heavyweight committee-based development is slow. Some of this
work is rightfully hard and should take a long time. The suggestion
for the solution concept, though, is to develop the Ontology
as multiple small pieces that can be made by just a few interested
individuals, without having to resort to formal organisations and
meetings. The NG Internet
possibilities allow you to tie the various independently developed
parts together in a web-based network.
- Supply/demand oriented
- To achieve immediate relevance and interest in the
BC industry, a new
development has to attach itself directly to the money-making
process. If an Ontology
can be build on basis of a supply/demand distinction, it can start
lubricating the market mechanism in the BC industry. At the least it can
provide a few innovating new ways to connect supply and
Concluding, the proposal is for an open source web-based object
library as a very interesting new effort at creating a useful basis
for web-based communication in BC.
Reinout van Rees 2006-12-13