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Re: [xml-dev] Marketplace XML Vocabularies

Mike (Sokolov):
[cc's pruned to just the list, not individuals]

At 9:23 PM -0500 1/4/10, Liam R E Quin wrote:
>>>  I claim that there is no intrinsic meaning in an XML
>>>  document, but rather that external knowledge is applied to
>>>  infer meaning....

At 10:00 AM -0500 1/5/10, Mike Sokolov wrote:
>... eventually this line of argument will lead to the erosion of all
>meaning, or at least all "intrinsic" meaning.  Is that your point?
>If not, what sort of construct do you think does have intrinsic
>meaning? ...

Here's a paper that argues that any kind of information (in this 
context, any XML document or any specification for an XML-based 
language) has no intrinsic meaning. It says, "Information, it turns 
out, is simply the vehicle by which we attempt to provoke - or evoke 
- a human response.... Meaning is a mental thing and is only ever 
tacit, that is to say, 'in us'."

"I = 0 (Information has no intrinsic meaning)"
F.J. Miller, Principal Consultant, Fernstar. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Information Research, Vol. 8 No. 1, October 2002

That said, in my crude journeyman work with XML-based languages I 
would say that describing a relationship between XML language 
statements and something in the real world (or at least the world 
outside the XML-based language) is what assigns meaning. A document 
written in the XML-based language doesn't have intrinsic meaning.

<ISBN>0-12345689-0</ISBN>  -- no intrinsic meaning
"this language includes an <ISBN> entity" -- no intrinsic meaning
"the ISBN entity marks a string which shall be interpreted as an 
International Standard Book Number as defined by ISO 2108. -- assigns 

But I'm no language philosopher either. Or even a skilled XML developer.
     --Jim DeLaHunt, jdlh@jdlh.com     http://blog.jdlh.com/ (http://jdlh.com/)
       multilingual websites consultant

       157-2906 West Broadway, Vancouver BC V6K 2G8, Canada
          Canada mobile +1-604-376-8953

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