IT Conversations: Stefano Mazzocchi

IT Conversations: Stefano Mazzocchi

Stefano Mazzocchi, the creator of Apache Cocoon, is now an MIT research scientist working on SIMILE, a series of projects that take a pragmatic, grassroots approach to bootstrapping the semantic web. The SIMILE team has learned that you can’t mandate coherence. But when people can create and mix data to suit their own tastes and purposes, it may emerge.

some interesting points:

  • 06:05 – „(Apache) Cocoon started to lose a little traction when the browsers became more and more powerful” (i.e. XSLT available at client side)
  • 20:14 – ” […] data first, instead of structure first […] when conceptualizing something you don’t know a priori how the structure is gonna turn out be […] a lot of people use spreadsheets as databases – you write down whatever you want and then you can incrementally add structure to it […] it’s much more bootstrapable approach to data modeling than it is the top-down design driven, schema driven approach […] „
  • 34:40 – „[…] peer pressure […] huge kinda social incentive at this point […] the only possible way […] that the stuff is ultimately ever going to take off […] it’s that incentive system […]”
  • 35:14 – „[…] unlocking this chicken and egg problem […] a lot of the Semantic Web researches were based on big hypothesis, that was: ‚If whatever then you could do this’ […] it’s like ‚if we have all the world in OWL then we could do inferencing engine’ or ‚when everybody use Dublin Core then …’ „
  • 37:26 – „[…] you have to have your tools that work at individual levels before they can work at group levels […] create a smooth transition between the data that is useful for individual, but can also grow to be useful to a group […] without that transition […] you’re always stuck in this when they show up – we can party […]”

plus some nice mashups from his Exhibit 2.0

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