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Re: [ontolog-forum] standard ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 14:13:20 -0500
Message-id: <499DAF50.6050806@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat and Randall,    (01)

JFS>> I don't believe that Cyc is perfect, and there are many things
 >> that I would do differently.  But I believe that anybody who
 >> proposes a new system should explain why they aren't using Cyc.    (02)

RS> Well, in keeping with the "open" philosophy of this forum, one
 > reason would be that it is not really open-source software. While
 > OpenCyc is available free of charge, it is still a closed system.    (03)

That is a good explanation.    (04)

But as Pat Hayes and I noted, it would be much cheaper to pay
Cycorp to release OpenCyc plus some additions to open source
than to redo all that work.    (05)

PC>> Your arguments to take a gradual approach, look for small demos
 >> and eventually try to get broad agreement via the semantic web is
 >> based solidly on the notion that a very gradual approach is a
 >> low-cost solution.  It's not.    (06)

RS> That is only true if for problems that are well understood and
 > which thus fall squarely into the realm of engineering. If there
 > is more than a very modest degree of experimentation involved,
 > incrementalism is indicated.    (07)

I strongly agree with Randall.  And I would add that Pat C has not
yet given a single shred of evidence for the claim that an upper
ontology is a prerequisite (or even useful) for interoperability.    (08)

And if Pat seriously believes that it's necessary to adopt some
upper ontology ASAP, I can't understand why he doesn't recommend
Cyc instead of starting from scratch.    (09)

PC>> Just because such losses do not show up as a line item on
 >> someone's budget doesn't mean they are not real.    (010)

RS> But likewise, just because a problem exists, does not mean
 > its solution is at hand.    (011)

I agree.  And given the evidence so far, any claims about a
standard upper ontology as the solution are wishful thinking.    (012)

John    (013)

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