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RE: A Light Rant On Ontological Commitment

> > The attitude is "we've
> > built multi-lingual apps before.  The challenge 
>>  is no different when
> > building a knowledgebase".
> Interesting... Could you make explicit why this is such as challenge? 

When you translate a term X from language A into language B, at some point
you assume a language independent meaning for X, that is X can be bound to
something outside A, or that A and B share canonical terms. Even if they do
(and how owuld you really ever know?), that's not a guarantee they'll
generate semantically or pragmatically equivalent sentences. Generally above
the word level, you'll lose or add meaning and go mad thinking about whether
or which, leading to lexical depression and linguistic solipsism or a
destructive relationship with formal languages. Ontology merging is similar
(you're dealing with terms mainly): it'll work up to a point though (I think
transaction and contract ontologies can be merged in general). But even
creating one ontology is hard work.

It's not unlike turning base metal into gold without the payoff. Grab a copy
of Umberto Eco's "The Search for the Perfect Language". It's enlightening,
you'll start seeing perfect language projects everywhere. Maybe the next
edition will feature markup languages :)