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   Re: Ontologies

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  • From: "W. E. Perry" <wperry@fiduciary.com>
  • To: XML DEV <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 14:01:05 -0500

Jonathan Borden wrote:

> The other issue is one of access. A primary reason to use URIs as a
> foundation for RDF based ontologies is that this allows the creation of a web
> addressable distributed ontology, and to the extent that information on the
> web is less proprietary than for example printed information, such ontologies
> might also be less proprietary.

I think Jonathan Borden's analogy of the specification of ontologies to the
source code of software is excellent. In fact, aren't we ready to go the whole
way and acknowledge that the ontologies addressable at the nodes of a semantic
web must in fact *be* executable against the various inputs we put to them? If
that is the case, then access and addressability are of primary importance, and
the closed, 'proprietary', inscrutable implementation of a particular node is
no more than an irritant of secondary consequence. Let us submit the same body
of input simultaneously to various different diagnostic methodologies--each
expressed as an ontology to which we can form a nexus at an addressable
node--and, provided that we can retrieve or address the output of each, we can
ignore the particulars of what happens in those opaque boxes. That is not our
expert domain, just as the criteria, the ontology--the executable process--by
which we further manipulate each of those outputs to suit our own unique
purposes are no business of the nodes which supplied that further input.


Walter Perry


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