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Re: [ontolog-forum] accounting inteoperability workshop

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 10 May 2008 11:33:40 -0400
Message-id: <4825C054.8090308@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Adrian,    (01)

As I've said many times, I believe that humanly readable
versions of logic such as executable English and various
kinds of controlled natural languages are important.    (02)

However, I would not call any such language a "semantic
layer".  All of them are formalized languages that express
some version of logic, and that logic (plus whatever
ontology is used) would be the semantic layer.    (03)

I'm not sure what version of logic your executable English
covers, but I had the impression that it's a Horn clause
subset of FOL closely related to Datalog.  I'm sure you have
specified that logic, but that logic is the appropriate level
for standardization and interchange.    (04)

That is the primary role of the Common Logic standard:
define a flexible and expressive version of logic that
includes many widely used logic-based languages as subsets.
Datalog is one subset, and I suspect that executable English
is equivalent to either Datalog or some subset of Datalog.    (05)

Having a semantic layer that can be supported by many
different surface notations is essential for promoting
widespread use.  Businesses are reluctant to build
mission-critical applications on languages that lock them
into a single supplier -- especially a small supplier.    (06)

But if the level of lock-in is a broad version of logic,
such as Common Logic or Datalog, they would have much
greater freedom to experiment with novel notations.
Anything that they implemented in executable English,
for example, could be automatically converted to or
from any other notation that supported the same logic.    (07)

That option maximizes the flexibility and opportunity
for everybody.  Developers could choose any notation
that provided the best human factors and methodologies
for their users without worrying about being locked into
a system that might not be supported for the long term.    (08)

John    (09)

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