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Re: [ontolog-forum] Next steps in using ontologies as standards

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2009 12:07:52 -0600
Message-id: <48690699-B6ED-4253-B9A5-7209993BB443@xxxxxxxx>
On Jan 6, 2009, at 11:03 AM, Patrick Cassidy wrote:
> The problem with letting the "market" determine standards is that  
> there has to be an effective "market", with multiple candidates, and  
> multiple users, for it to work. In the case of a foundation  
> ontology, there have been publicly available candidates for over 6  
> years, but as yet there are few users (applications, anyone?) and  
> nothing remotely resembling a "market" has developed. This should  
> give us a clue that we are dealing with a technology that is not  
> simplistically analogous to the ones we are accustomed to.  On  
> reflection this should not be terribly surprising -- a proper  
> foundation ontology will have the content and expressive power of a  
> human language,    (01)

I'm guessing that what you have in mind here is simply that the  
language of a foundational ontology should enable us to give adequate  
formal expression (in a sense that itself needs clarification) to  
anything we can say in a natural language.  Sure thing.  That said, I  
think it is best to avoid using terms like "expressive power" that  
have clear mathematical meanings to convey informal ideas.  This is  
admittedly a pet peeve of mine, but one that I think is reasonable, as  
the use of such terms easily  leads to confusion (since their meanings  
in informal contexts are inevitably different than their formal  
meanings).  And, although I do not believe it is Patrick's intent  
here, all too often such terms are used rhetorically to suggest a  
greater degree of clarity and rigor than is warranted.    (02)

> and nothing like it has been actually developed **and widely used**  
> up to now (WordNet is not an ontology in that sense).    (03)

Or any other, I'd say. ;-)    (04)

-chris    (05)

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