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Re: [ontolog-forum] Re Foundation ontology, CYC, and Mapping

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Kevin D Keck <KDKeck@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 13:47:32 -0700
Message-id: <f140289d2ac6.4bb0af74@xxxxxxx>
----- Original Message -----
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sunday, March 28, 2010 7:33 pm
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Re  Foundation ontology, CYC, and Mapping
> KDK> I think we have a different view of what is "simpler".
> Yes, indeed!
> KDK> If you start with only FOL, then you need to define arithmetic
> > before you can move on to defining what is a valid financial report.    (01)

> No!  If you start with FOL, you have 120 years worth of very well
> documented definitions.  In fact, the Mathematica system has defined
> practically every function and mathematical system that is used in
> any branch of science, engineering, statistics, and other fields.
> And most of those definitions are available for free download.    (02)

You at least need to reference a particular definition.    (03)

> If you use the CLIF dialect, you do arithmetic by writing (+ x y),
> (* x y), and (/ x y).  If you are using a dialect with infix notation,
> you can write x+y, x*y, and x/y.    (04)

Yes, and in XPath (the source of the arithmetic definitions used in XBRL), you 
write x+y, x*y, and x/y.  Since you're writing the same thing, why is your 
standard (CL) better than their standard (XPath)?  I can see why you (as an 
ontologist) would prefer a CL-based definition, and I can see why web 
developers would prefer the XPath-based definition.  Why should your preference 
get to trump theirs?    (05)

> There are two styles of writing logical expressions:  functional 
> style,as in many languages such as ML, Haskell, etc.; or relational 
> style,as in Prolog, Datalog, and other logic programming languages.
> Learn Mathematica.  Learn Prolog.  Learn functional programming.
> All those techniques have been defined, implemented, and used
> for over 30 years.  And anything you can do with those languages
> is acceptable in FOL.    (06)

I do know Prolog, and do know functional programming.  I've even implemented a 
subset of ML in a language called Elf, based on LF:    (07)

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~fp/elf-bib.html    (08)

I also know LISP, and Perl, and Java, and XSLT, and all of them also have 
extensive libraries of all kinds of things already defined for you.  And I 
absolutely wish along with you that they didn't all define the same things 
redundantly, and often subtly incompatibly.  None of that answers the question 
of why FOL/CL should be chosen as the uber-standard.    (09)

Combinatory logic, by the way, is even "simpler" than FOL: the whole thing can 
be defined with only two operators, named "S" and "K".  And you can define FOL 
in combinatory logic.  So why don't we adopt that as the one, true 
uber-standard?  What could be simpler?    (010)

> KDK> As far as I can see, the problem is not the formalisms, it's
> > the content.
> Yes, indeed!  That's why there is no need to define new kinds
> of languages.  The hard work has been done, and you can focus
> on the content.    (011)

No, what has been done is not "the hard work", it is the easy part!    (012)

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