|From:||"Deborah MacPherson" <debmacp@xxxxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Sat, 17 Feb 2007 10:51:38 -0500|
Along with the other responses to this question posted by Chris Chute, Rex Brooks, Cory Casanave, Evan Wallace and Mark Musen - I think another question is also being asked here...|
Say an ontology is a process for creating, encoding, organizing, and distributing ideas and information, and a browser is way of looking and interacting the same ideas and information from a different place or time. A variety of media and devices are involved such as databases, monitors, keyboards, networks, the Internet etc. The ideas and information themselves could be almost "anything" as long as the data can flow through available media and devices - but the point of the whole exchange - is to connect what begins one person or group of people's heads to another person or set of people to keep advancing the processes while hopefully learning from previous exchanges.
A metaphor for what I think Chandu's question might be is that writing, performing, and recording music are processes, like an ontology is a process, assembling music notes and symbols into arrangements recognized by other people and other machines in the manner the composer and performer intended. Versus listening to music in person, on CDs, through online collections which are ways to experience and interpret music the listener did not write or may be unable to perform. The only user controls are selecting which performances to attend, which CDs to play, the volume, playlist orders, and similar choices using previously set pieces and arrangements established by others before or even on the spot in real time. Listeners are different than composers or performers, they can select only the parts they like by extracting and combining elements out from whole compositions. The receiving end may involve some figuring out and be a form of _expression_ but usually not with the same drive that compelled the composer to write a four hour opera, more likely it is a little of this, a little of that to suit a mood or show off terrific new speakers. The information originators typically have more invested but the objective is to have other people see what they see and hear what they hear in order to gain understanding and insight. Musicians, mathematicians, agricultural engineers, emergency response teams all want to know, what are you trying to tell me and why? The role of the ontology and the browser is to get it from here to there in a strategic manner able to be interpreted further, and in some cases, communicated back through an ontology and browser again.
It sounds like the wish for an ultra generic browser independent ontology wants to combine creating, organizing, and distributing ideas and information AND interacting and interpreting it after the fact perhaps even for different purposes. End users may have different objectives and levels of understanding than originators. Is the purpose of such an open ended utopia so that if the ontology you are working does not exactly meet your specifications, you could fish around for others to fill in the blanks? use as a process of elimination engine? or possibly to streamline bits and pieces of multiple ontologies together to achieve a set of stated communication and computational goals?
If so, the answer also depends on capturing, encoding, and controlling the essence of ideas and information themselves BEFORE they are deconstructed into languages, tools, and formats able to transmit and process data chunks on demand. There would need to be an ontology of ontologies able to convey over any browser and a unified collection area to fish around and find what you are looking for. A true Ontology Browser crosses the entire spectrum of communication and in my view, the previous answers were only addressing the machine processing side and left out the people involved at the beginning and the end.
On 2/16/07, chandu <mohan.kodali@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Is there any generic ontology browser which can load any ontology and allow us to browse through? any project going on? Or is it that browser depends on the ontology itself and cant be independent of ontology?
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