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

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  • From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>
  • To: Uche Ogbuji <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>,Martin Bryan <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 13:24:53 -0600

Asking too much is part of getting a good deal.  
Write an ontology for buying a used car. :-)

It means what you predict. Ontologies are
self-fulfilling internally (consistent) and predictable 
when used to service multiple parties (coherent).

Dictionary + Tests.  Services are tested.  The 
axioms can be behavioral.  We probably should 
do a little more work understanding the original 
author's meaning for the "knowledge level".  
It seems however, that the arbiter of commitment 
is test results per an interpreted description.   
That corresponds reasonably well to how contracts 
that depend on standard references are negotiated. 

Perhaps defining tests appears to be outside 
the mission of RDF or Topic maps, but I think it 
is just another ontology and set of resources.  
We may need an ontology to proof an ontology 
and we are back to compressability, perhaps, a 
topic map of RDF assertions.

So, a question to ask is what are the tests that 
could be applied to ensure the user of a vocabulary is using it 
correctly without requiring them to answer any 
arbitrary query?  Note in the original source 
the comment about not requiring completeness 
or requiring the global users to share a theory.

It seems reasonable to test the existence of 
assertions.   We can look at multiple ontologies 
(contexts of assertions) and discover that multiple 
sources have the same assertion so establish 
evidence by multiple sources.  We can never 
formally prove the assertion unless we both 
agree to a test of fact and commit to behave 
accordingly in a testable way.

George W. Bush is the president-elect of the 
US.  That is easy to test.  George Bush is 
the legitimate president of the US.  That is 
harder to test.  George Bush will be a good 
president.  That is impossible to test until 
we agree on the conditions to be met in the 

No, it doesn't end.  Like a recursion, we tell 
it how deep is deep enough.  The cabala ascribes  
the aleph in the golem's mouth for a reason.


Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h

-----Original Message-----
From: Uche Ogbuji [mailto:uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com]

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

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.

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.


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