I really enjoyed Peter Coffees Feb. 6 article “Exotic Tools Go Mainstream” (Developer Solutions).
I was one of those guys at the University of Wisconsin grinding it out in the 80s, trying to get something useful out of PC-based Common LISP. I was trying to model the way people acquire, process, store and access information. No small task, but with our “new” tools at the time, we were all very optimistic.
What we discovered was that the software never allowed us to specify a data object in sufficient complexity to obtain a reasonable representation of reality.
What most of us ended up doing was constraining our problem space and, by default, using an “expert system” solution. The glorious ambiguity that we call life has waited patiently to be meaningfully modeled. The advances that Mr. Coffee reported are very welcome.
Michael S. Patrick