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Yet the Microsoft browser does have a way to
declare semantics based on namespaces, and it
doesn't involve RDF or neural nets. And it
does use namespaces to declare in a given
document, what the meaningful combinations
are. So it addresses items 1 through 3
by declaration and does assign running code.
Doubtless, the object model of the browser
One doesn't have to make it pass a Turing
Test to ground the symbols. One does have
to solve the problem of systematicity.
From: Dare Obasanjo [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 4:20 PM
To: Bullard, Claude L (Len); email@example.com
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Symbol Grounding and Running Code: Is XML Really
My personal opinion is that this is an unsolvable problem especially by
RDF. However if you think you have a solution I have two "Turing tests"
that a proposed solution should be able to handle described at
PITHY WORDS OF WISDOM
Eat right, Exercise, Die anyway.
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 1:23 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [xml-dev] Symbol Grounding and Running Code: Is XML
> Really Extensible?
> Noting the articles from Tim Bray  and Jon Udell ,
> knowing as most here do that the winking and nudging over
> namespace semantic assignments is really just the next level
> of semantic assignment to XML productions in general, it
> seems that now is a good time to discuss means for this.
> I agree with Tim that XML is a name/label/structure system
> and as such, doesn't care much about this debate. However,
> that simply says the developer has to care, so we still have
> to face up to the symbol grounding problem elaborated in
> detail by Charles Peirce in his papers on semiotics over a
> hundred years ago and clarified in the works of John Sowa.
> Harnad  explains it satisfactorily in terms of AI
> approaches including combining connection systems (eg, neural
> netws) with symbol systems. All good background, but there
> are other approaches and we should explore these.
> In short, clearly namespaces enable composability at the
> syntactic level. Just as clearly, many combinations are
> meaningless. As Harnad says when defining systematicity:
> "The patterns of interconnections do not decompose, combine
> and recombine according to a formal syntax that can be given
> a systematic semantic interpretation."
> So in effect, we can create namespace aggregates which are
> not systematic. So via namespaces, any set of XML application
> productions (by which I mean, a production from HTML, from
> SVG, from X3D, or XSLT) can be combined and be syntactically
> How can one determine:
> 1. If a given combination is meaningful 2. How to discover
> that meaning 3. How to assign that combination or even a single
> production to a running piece of code
> Item three is where the rubber meets the road.
> a. Does RDF address these questions?
> b. Is it better for worse particulary for item 3
> than say using stylesheet assignments c. Are other
> approaches such as abstract
> object models as good or better than RDF for
> writing the rules of a semantically valid
> Next, is it desirable or workable that any arbitrary
> combination of XML productions from any language be
> meaningful? I think the answer here is no and leads back to 1.
> I think this an important topic because it touches on issues
> such as when should two application language working groups
> seek convergence, can we create XML application languages
> that don't set of IP tripwires by ensuring implementations
> based on IP aren't a part of the language definition, should
> we begin to classify semantically valid XML production
> combinations, and where in that will standardization impede
> innovation, is it really a good idea to use a standard
> namespace name to point to running code?
>  http://tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2003/08/11/SymbolGrounding
>  http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2003/08/11.html#a775
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