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   Re: [xml-dev] Data vs. Process was Re: [xml-dev] Vocabulary Combination

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  • To: "XML DEV" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Data vs. Process was Re: [xml-dev] Vocabulary Combination ...
  • From: "Jonathan Borden" <jonathan@openhealth.org>
  • Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 15:04:26 -0400
  • References: <r01050400-1026-7B65A01E93AB11D7B5F00003937A08C2@[]>

Simon St.Laurent wrote:

> At the same time, though, the programmer in me finds Jonathan's
> preferred solution of ontologies, though declarative, to intrude too
> deeply into my choices about processing, and that reminds the markup
> side that ontologies feel both constrictive and heavyweight.

When I think about ontologies I hardly think about processing at all. How
exactly do ontologies intrude into your choices about processing?

Admittedly, ontologies might be both constrictive and heavyweight, they are
intended to be constrictive, and the additional constraints on what you can
say, placed by the desire to enable inference engines to be both decidable
and terminating, do indeed frequently make it cumbersome to express
something which otherwise seems simple -- but I wonder if that is somewhat a
function of the fact that writing good ontologies is an art which is
fundamentally different from programming? As such, writing ontologies today
must seem similar to that of programming in the early days of computers:
akin to black magic. Like most magic, it just looks impossible from the
outside, and becomes much easier when you understand the sleight of hand. Or
of course there is the standard answer that we can let the tools do the hard
work :-))



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