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

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  • From: Uche Ogbuji <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>
  • To: Martin Bryan <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 11:40:35 -0700 (MST)

> 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.

I do think you and Len ask too much, but oh well.

> 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".

This is "a clear definition of terms"?  Whatever, let's not get into a
battle over the meaning of "meaning".  I'm happy to seize on the
mention of "human-readable text" as you do.

> 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.

Not entirely true.  RDF recommends the use of human-readable "label" tags
in schematics.  So at least the meta-meta data are described as you say,
which is, I think the key part.

If you want such labels at the level of resource instances, you can do so
using your vocabulary of choice.  RDF does not and should not dictate

Uche Ogbuji                               Principal Consultant
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com               +1 303 583 9900 x 101
Fourthought, Inc.                         http://Fourthought.com
4735 East Walnut St, Ste. C, Boulder, CO 80301-2537, USA
Software-engineering, knowledge-management, XML, CORBA, Linux, Python


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