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Re: [ontolog-forum] I ontologise, you ontologise, we all mess up...

To: edbark@xxxxxxxx, "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 17:39:25 -0600
Message-id: <D2901BFC-A5B9-4BA5-88D4-B82DB66D0B11@xxxxxxx>

On Jan 12, 2011, at 2:41 PM, Ed Barkmeyer wrote:    (01)

> Bill,
> you wrote:
>> Chris, Ed:
>> So given your interpretation, if I have (1) an ontology written in OWL 
>about, say, making a cup of coffee, and (2) another ontology written in CLIF 
>(or KM language of your choice) that is about the exact same 
>making-a-cup-of-coffee process, then they are two separate and distinct 
>ontologies rather than different representations of the same ontology?  
> All we are saying is that the ontology is the captured description of 
> the concepts.  And the choice of language is intimately involved with 
> capturing the description.  Further, the choice of language is closely 
> related to computational use of that description. 
>> That goes against my understanding conceptual modelling viz physical data 
>modelling, and my understanding of the RDF abstract model viz the various 
>representations of it.  
> That distinction is artificial.  RDF is only one language.  If a 
> "language" has more than one "notation" (an idea that seems to apply 
> only to computational languages and printing), then an ontology that is 
> written in that language is the same ontology, regardless of the 
> notation used.  The idea that a language has an abstract syntax and 
> multiple concrete syntaxes is pure computer science, and a sop to the 
> inability of standards communities to actually make a useful standard.      (02)

Ahem. I take mild umbrage at that last comment. The RDF graph syntax 
("abstract" if you like) was chosen because the most salient, intuitive, 
semantically transparent and humanly readable notation for RDF is, in fact, a 
graph drawn on a surface. RDF 'triple stores' reproduce that very graph in 
machine data structures, and operate on it very effectively. Unfortunately, 
while it is excellent both for humans and machines, this graphical notation 
cannot be sent from place to place as a character stream across a wire. So, we 
had to invent  a linear notation (and, the gods be praised, allow for others to 
invent better ones) which could be sent over a wire. The RDF specs refer to 
these as 'interchange syntax' for just this reason.     (03)

In all other ways I agree with Ed, of course.    (04)

Pat    (05)

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