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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2009 09:43:32 -0500
Message-id: <496CA894.6030108@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ron,    (01)

I want to point out that my proposal requires a minimal amount
of funding to get started.    (02)

 > I am not suggesting that we should build a full OR. I believe
 > that there is a project currently underway. I hope that the
 > functional requirements that are outlined below will be considered
 > in that process.    (03)

I am not proposing that we begin by developing *any* ontologies.
The starting work requires less effort than this group puts into
a hotly debated email thread:    (04)

  1. Define the operators that relate the theories in the hierarchy.
     Adolf Lindenbaum kindly did the theoretical work for us about
     80 years ago, and I summarized it in Sections 2, 3, and 4 of
     the following paper:    (05)

     http://www.jfsowa.com/logic/theories.htm    (06)

  2. The next point is to develop a set of policies about how
     to handle contributions, relate them, evaluate them, etc.
     As Elisa said, the OBO has a well developed framework that
     does much of what we need, and we could start by identifying
     what they have accomplished that we can adopt, and what more
     we would like to add.    (07)

After these two points have been established (or even during the
debate about them), Peter Yim or anybody else on the list that
wants to do so could set up a Foundation Ontology wiki.    (08)

We would also need a cute logo, design graphics, and a URL with
an appropriate name that is dedicated to the Foundation Ontology.
That can also be set up in parallel.    (09)

The ontologies themselves would come from donations.  Some of
those that are already available as open source could be adapted
very quickly by adding the appropriate metadata and making a
place for them in the hierarchy.  They need not be physically
moved from their starting places, but we do need to establish
some controls for versioning, etc., which are often minimal
or nonexistent in open-source resources.    (010)

My point is that we can begin this work today with mostly
volunteer effort.  If we do a decent job, the funding will come
later.  But we need to do something solid to demonstrate that
this group is capable of accomplishing something.  Otherwise,
hope for multimillion-dollar grants is a pipe dream.    (011)

John    (012)

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