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

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 18:31:25 -0500
Message-id: <4D3E0BCD.4040303@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ed,    (01)

I agree with much of what you wrote.  But I'll add some qualifications.    (02)

> There are really two kinds of notation for an artificial language that
> are important -- a notation for presentation to humans, and a notation
> for exchange with other tools.    (03)

Two is an inadequate approximation to infinity.    (04)

There may be multiple notations for presentation to humans for
different purposes:  language-option, brief/wordy/annotated,
voice/print/display, novice/expert/tutorial, still/animated/3D...    (05)

The variety for computers dwarfs the number designed for humans:
archival, transmission, library, indexed, optimized (for different
purposes), embedding in different environments, etc.    (06)

> My complaint about standards committees is the regular occurrence of
> multiple formal exchange notations for the same language, which IMO is
> based entirely on the unwillingness of implementors to agree to a formal
> structure that isn't their personal favorite...    (07)

I strongly agree.  There should be one canonical form, from which all
the others forms are derived.  (FOL is the only known artificial
language for which two independent developers invented semantically
identical languages.)    (08)

> [Some developers] had a perfectly
> usable standard exchange notation, but it wasn't based on XML, and thus
> was politically unacceptable in W3C.    (09)

That is an example of a technical decision made for a political reason.
In my experience in IBM, there were quite a few good products, but some
truly abominable disasters.  And in nearly every case, the disasters
were the result of some executive edicting a political solution to
a technical problem.    (010)

The W3C made a serious blunder in assuming that the format designed
for embedding in a document (XML) was suitable for other computational
purposes.  It has proved to be abysmally inefficient for nearly *every*
computational purpose -- storage, transmission, computation, and most
of all *interchange*.    (011)

One major telecom, for example, was suckered into using RDF for
a task with very tight timing constraints.  They were way over
budget, far past their deadline, and they couldn't meet the
timing constraints.    (012)

Arun Majumdar was called in as a consultant.  He spent 6 weeks
replacing the RDF with CGIF, reduced the data transmission and
processing times by huge factor, and met the timing constraints.    (013)

>> And finally,
>> OWL itself has sprouted a rule-like alternative syntax for those who
>> prefer to read and write rules.
> I don't know whether John is here referring to SWRL or RIF or yet
> another...    (014)

I was talking about OWL 2 RL/RDF rules:    (015)

    http://www.w3.org/TR/owl2-profiles/    (016)

John    (017)

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