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Principles that we have learned

By jaf, Section Ask Anything
Posted on Sun Jun 8th, 2003 at 10:48:20 AM EST
Below is an email that was sent to the rdf-interest listserv (re-posted with permission). While somewhat focused on RDF technology principles, it brings to mind broader principles in libraries and technology. What are some principles around information technology that you've picked up over time, similiar to the ones in the email below?


Hi Folks,

Below are a few principles which I hold to be true:

1. Frequently, data endures but the applications which processes the data comes and goes.

2. Separate everything:

   - separate data from presentation
   - separate data from applications that process the data
   - separate semantic definitions from application code
   - separate hyperlink definitions from data (put hyperlink definitions in a linkbase)

2. Freedom is not "do anything you want".  That is chaos.  Unbridled XML leads to chaos.  Freedom
is brought about through discipline.  Bring
order to instance data by conforming to a design pattern.  

    The RDF Class/Property/Value design pattern seems like a good choice to control the chaos.

3. Minimize exacting requirements on the *form* of instance documents. Expect diversity of

    Corollary: In designing schemas apply liberal quantities of <any> and <all>;
minimize use of <sequence> and minOccurs="1".

4. Take a step forward to machine understanding of instance data by documenting how the data
relates to other things in the world: How does the class of data in the instance document relate to
other classes of data? What are the characteristics of the properties?	Answers to these questions
constitute a logical model.  

    OWL seems like a good choice for declaratively expressing logical models. 

I invite your suggestions for deletions/extensions/modifications to this
list. /Roger


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Principles that we have learned | 2 comments (1 topical, 1 editorial, 0 pending) | Post A Comment
Postel's Law (none / 0) (#1)
by jaf on Sat Jun 7th, 2003 at 07:24:02 AM EST
(User Info)

Saw this one, from the late Jon Postel:

"Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send."

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