Hugh Winkler holding forth on computing and the Web

Friday, September 23, 2005

Are data models passé?

In the free vs safe debate, free is winning. That's a debate not limited to programming languages. You see the same meme in the web services debates. Google does "free" for data. Adam Bosworth's pitching open, "dumb" search standards; so is Joe. Do we need formal logical data models?

We won't be able to impose them. No data architect will design a master schema or ontology over domains like, say, process control, or auctions. Instead, mediators like Google will infer models from content. Or each of us will contribute our bit to the global model by social bookmarking and tagging. The excitement in searches will be in augmenting the raw search results served up by the dumb search protocols, with the value a mediator like Google or adds in imposing their inferred models, making the searches faster or more accurate.

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