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   Re: [xml-dev] XML/RDF

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Jonathan Borden wrote,
> Miles Sabin wrote:
> > Maybe I should have said transformation rather than mapping.
> >
> > I'll try again: once you've defined an executable transformation
> > (eg. using XSLT), what useful job is there left for RDF/DAML/OWL to
> > do?
> OWL allows you to define not only equivalences between classes of
> objects, properties of objects and object themselves but allows you
> to define heirarchical classifications of objects. Indeed a subset of
> OWL can be used as an interchange syntax for UML.

I'm afraid it's the heirarchical classification thing that I have the 
biggest problem with.

Stable, widely applicable, uncontested, hierarchically structured 
ontologies (whether implicit or explicitly formalized) are pretty thin 
on the ground. Instead you find vast numbers of transient, politically 
loaded, domain specific and distinctly disorderly ad hoc classificatory 
schemes (almost always implicit).

Doug Lenat might not like it, but in practice ontologies are more like 
Borges' Chinese Encyclopedia[1] than Cyc.



[1] http://www.multicians.org/thvv/borges-animals.html


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