Re: Resolution of SQL debate

Robert Neches <>
Message-id: <>
To: (Kenneth Forbus)
Subject: Re: Resolution of SQL debate 
In-reply-to: Your message of Thu, 09 Jan 92 16:05:30 -0600.
Date: Thu, 09 Jan 92 19:08:08 PST
From: Robert Neches <>

>   I guess what bothers me in this whole discussion is that all of the
>   complaints and arguments against SQL2 being a reasonable idea could be
>   leveled at the interlingua and KR standards effort.  Based on the small
>   number of experiments in large-scale KR (e.g., CYC) I doubt that we
>   have enough evidence to comfortably set standards that will actually
>   be useful over a long period.


  Without getting into the technical merits of SQL2, I do want to observe that
it is something which is being proposed as a formal standard by a formal
standards body.  That's different from what we're doing.

  Our Knowledge Sharing Effort is working on things, interlingua for one, that
are intended to support experiments in large-scale KR among participants in our
loose consortium.  In that sense, our role is closer to Cyc than SQL2. 
(However, I'd argue that our focus is on techniques facilitating multiple
experiments, while Cyc is intended to be one experiment.)  The things we're
trying to develop, like Interlingua, are "standard" in a different sense than a
proposed ANSI or ISO standard like SQL2.  Ours are "standards" in the sense
that the participants agree to work out some conventions that all can follow,
in order to work together.  The Europeans have a good phrase for this sort of
thing; they talk about "pre-normative" conventions.

  Clearly, people who are trying to do what we're trying to do, and people in
other communities with similar goals, all have a lot to learn from each other.

  -- Bob

                            Robert Neches
     USC/ISI, 4676 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292 USA
                Phone: 310/822-1511, Fax: 310/823-6714