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Re: [ontolog-forum] (renamed) Terms with fixed/multiple meanings

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 15:03:08 -0700
Message-id: <20100909220315.AB016138CD6@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Hi David,


My comments below:




Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2




Doug -


On Sep 9, 2010, at 4:18 PM, doug foxvog wrote:


> Why?  Every author of Java code uses the same meaning of "method" and

> other reserved words.  Every HTML author uses the same meaning of 

> <title>.




I would call compiler keywords like "method" or document parts like "title" to be content free syntactic signs, not meaningful except between the programmer and the compiler.  


Now I understand


But those are the "verbs" that come with every software language.  

Use them, spell them correctly or find other work.  Plus you have a 

compiler looking over your shoulder.  The VERBs are documented in 



The slippery ones are the NOUNS that people more often than not make 

up on the fly... makes sense to them... use it.  Very difficult to 

decode 6 months or 6 years later.


For example, Noun Phrases are often beset with the "wrong" interpretation of which noun is the head noun.  It isn't always positional, it is dependent on the context in which the utterance was uttered.  


My version of triples is VERB + OPERATOR + NOUN.  VERBs & OPERATORs 

are controlled by the compilers... NOUNs are largely anything goes.  

The differences of underscores vs dashes and UPPER vs lowercase is 

just silliness & of minimal significance.


Allegedly NOUNs should be documented in mythical databases called 

variously "data dictionary" or "metadata repository."   By a show of 

hands, who on this list has been in an organization that has a 

useful, accessible, accurate, & complete dictionary/repository where 

business people, analysts, project managers & developers can easily 

look up what something means?


My hand votes that the data dictionary is only useful among the DB engineering staff because the entries parse in the database language and properly match certain names for columns, tables, values, constraints, etc.  The data dictionaries I have seen and used are by no means consistent, and are often difficult to change or resolve errors in.  




Allegedly a field/column/data element should have a single meaning... 

often they don't.



David Eddy







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