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   Re: Schemata are not just constraints [was: "RDF + Topic Maps" = TheFutu

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  • From: Martin Bryan <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 17:37:31 +0000

Apparently Uche Ogbuji wrote (in a message I missed):

> >If, as I
> >think Martin Bryan suggests, you want a complete reasoning engine from
> >first principles, then you'd better be channelling Choamsky and
> >Wittgenstein and exorcising Deridda because you're gonna need a _lot_
> >more firepower than constraints, address _or_ subject identity.

Whilst I am ploughing through Wittgenstein whenever I get a minute at
present I actually said nothing about reasoning engines, with very good
reasons. What I am asking for is a clear definition of terms. As Len Bullard
pointed out, http://www-ksl.stanford.edu/kst/what-is-an-ontology.html
defines ontology as:

"definitions associate the names of entities in the universe of discourse
(e.g., classes, relations, functions, or other objects) with
human-readable text describing what the names mean, and formal
axioms that constrain the interpretation and well-formed use of
these terms".

The key phrase in this is "with human-readable text describing what the
names mean". Without this we are unable to determine anyone's meaning after
a few weeks, once we've lost the original context of the message (as anyone
returning to the archive for this list server and reading any one of the
messages in the middle of next year will soon find out). The problem is that
neither RDF or Topic Maps have a requirement of the supply of any
human-readable descripition of the meaning of any referenced subject.

Martin Bryan


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