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Re: [ontolog-forum] vocabulary tools/knoodl

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 09:57:18 -0500
Message-id: <4975E64E.4060009@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Paola,    (01)

You don't ever want to "accomplish some rdfization of vocabularies."    (02)

The best notation for defining things is a version controlled
English that enables the subject-matter experts to think in
the terms that are appropriate to the subject.  The result
is humanly readable.    (03)

Following is an excerpt from a note to Ian Bailey in another
thread.    (04)

____________________________________________________________________    (05)

IB> Another tip is to sort out your ontic categories early on. I'm
 > not sure OWL and RDFS give you a proper foundation for ontology
 > development - there are some very strange things in the W3C spec
 > about how an individual in one ontology can be a class in another
 > (bizarre even in an intensional approach).    (06)

I very strongly agree.  RDFS and OWL are horrible examples of how
*not* to design an ontology language.  The designers started with
two disastrous implementation-based assumptions:    (07)

  1. They wanted to reuse their XML-based parsing tools by forcing
     everything into the world's worst syntax.    (08)

  2. They forced a weird semantics in which the only relations
     are dyadic.  That means that you can't even say 2+2=4
     because the "+" operator is triadic:  it takes two inputs
     and generates one output.    (09)

These two blunders are the source of those bizarre features you
mention above.  You can't entirely ignore RDF and OWL because
they were foisted on a large set of people who didn't know enough
to see that they were dupes in a Ponzi scheme.  But you should
always preserve your sanity by thinking in terms of something
better.    (010)

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