Review: Data Model Patterns–A Metadata Map

4 Star, Information Technology

data model4 stars for the legacy, June 29, 2008

David C. Hay

I’ve given this book four stars because it represents the very best thinking among those who believe it is possible to create integrative comprehensive relational databases in advance of receiving the data.

I served on the Information Handling Committee of the US Intelligence Community, and was a founding member of the Advanced Information Processing and Analysis Steering Group. I have spent the last twenty years thinking about all information in all languages all the time.

I have this book in my library (but just acquired it despite its 2006 publication date) and I have flipped through this book methodically, but cannot claim to have read it. I read the entire index word for word. It is excellent on terms and does not recognize humans.

Although XML is in the index, OWL and SOAP are not. Doug Englebart’s Open Hypertextdocument system (OHS) and Pierre Levy’s Information Economy Meta Language (IEML) do not appear in this book.

Following are the semantic entries in the index:
+ Semantic Class, 99, 100
+ Semantic Community, 40, 41, 45, 47, 210
+ semantic web, 47
+ semantics, 10, 38

Geospatial and Map (anything) do not appear in the index.

Neither foreign language variations nor multi-media geospatially-related data (the author is correct early on, data is the plural of datum) nor early warning of unanticipated data forms appear to be in this book.

Social networks, collaborative meaning determination, and human in the loop do not appear to be in this book.

I put it down with two thoughts:

1. This is a great book for anyone devoted to Oracle who wants to see Oracle at its very best in a bounded environment, and the author should be consulted by those going beyond such environments; and

2. This book has little to offer to those of us who want to create massive scale and infinitely scalable systems of systems that can cope with all information in all languages all the time, none of it defined in advance.

In the comment, I provide a URL for the best concise definition of the Zachman Framework, the equivalent of the ultra-accurate near-distance arrow just before gunpowder was invented.

Up above I provide my own four quadrants of the knowledge environment–the difference between Nova Spivak, whom I admire immensely, and myself, is that I place much more emphasis on the human factor as well as the sociology and psychology of cultures, tribes, organizations, and nations.

My own books are not technical, but since I have noticed a first negative vote, I will go ahead and link to them for grins. Technology is NOT a substitute for thinking humans. I cannot compare to the author of this book, he is at the top of his relational database game, but I do believe that metadata ultimately boils down to human concepts communicated P2P.

On Intelligence: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World
The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political–Citizen’s Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide, Disease, Toxic Bombs, & Corruption
Information Operations: All Information, All Languages, All the Time
THE SMART NATION ACT: Public Intelligence in the Public Interest
Peacekeeping Intelligence: Emerging Concepts for the Future
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

See also:
Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder
Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration
Revolutionary Wealth: How it will be created and how it will change our lives
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom