As always, you raise valuable points. (02)
Notice the variance of conversation going on under this very subject
line. I dragged it away from another "theme" by injecting topic maps
to federate as compared to integrate ontologies, to avoid Hobson's
Choice. Still, other themes exist under this subject line, and, in
fact, I believe that's as it should be. (03)
How do you go about keeping track of all those different themes,
sub-topics, etc? You would probably do well to use "topic tags" on
emails (which we only have on the client side, not exposed to others).
Sure, a discipline could be invented not unlike hashtags that go with
each email sent that allow the client's search engine to pluck out
topics of interest, maybe someday actually use them to autotag the
messages. That, in fact, was one of the projects we built into CALO at
SRI International; emails can be messy, but they can be tamed. (05)
In some sense, there's an interpretation that this one subject line is
really being multiple conversations, each in its own "silo". Silos
exist. Always will. So what? A single ontology document is, in its
own way, evidence of silo'd thinking. So what? All I am proposing is
a means by which those silos can be federated without taking anything
away from the cultures that reside in those silos. With a topic map,
I can federate ontologies written in OWL, UML, um, even Pascal,
whatever. Doesn't matter so long as the subjects being represented are
identifiable in ways that are meaningful to people who understand
attributes and values as different from meaningless URI strings.
That's not a slam on URI strings: they have a proper role in the
I would argue that your challenge, itself, is perhaps a
self-constrained inquiry. I will defend the rights of those who live
in the domain of legacy systems as much as I will defend the rights of
those who continuously strive to push the envelope, seeking improved
whatever. For me, there is no priority, no sense of relative
importance. A topic map values all world views. It merely seeks to
organize those world views around particular subjects, each of which
might have definitional origins in one or more ontologies. (07)
I only wish to federate the work products of all participants without
taking anything away from them, and, perhaps, as a side effect,
facilitating personal transformations in those individuals who are
willing to navigate along the many worm holes of a topic map and
explore someone else's world views. (08)
On Sat, Apr 23, 2011 at 10:33 AM, David Eddy <deddy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Jack -
> On 2011-04-22, at 3:06 PM, Jack Park wrote:
>> David, you ask good questions. Thank you.
>> Agree there is no such thing as a perfect label. My choice of
>> "commonLabel" was mostly to make a point, not to advertise a
>> particular ontological commitment.
> Thank you for your response.
> I sense that my intense interest in legacy systems issues—particularly
> around "good names"—is misplaced to an ontology crowd.
> With perhaps the exception of John Sowa, my working assumption is that most
> folks interested in ontologies are completely uninterested in legacy
> I would issue this challenge... which is more important?
> Maintaining/extending legacy systems or building ontologies? Since
> ontologists are clearly not interested in legacy systems issues, clearly
> ontology tools will not be produced to deal with legacy systems. One man's
> I will return to luck mode.
> David Eddy
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