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Re: [ontolog-forum] Relating and Reconciling Ontologies (legacy systems)

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: David Eddy <deddy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2011 18:14:01 -0400
Message-id: <EF6A373B-9D13-4123-A929-27E599548174@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Jack -    (01)

On 2011-04-23, at 4:14 PM, Jack Park wrote:    (02)

> How do you go about keeping track of all those different themes,  
> sub-topics, etc?    (03)

Easy.  I don't.    (04)

Thread drift sets in & I simply can't follow.    (05)

In the early '90s CompuServe had a wonderful "threaded" email  
client.  You could easily see as different conversations & topics  
broke off & spawned their own life.    (06)

> You would probably do well to use "topic tags" on
> emails (which we only have on the client side, not exposed to others).    (07)

Coordinating what the tags actually mean to multiple parties would be  
difficult.    (08)

I've been using tags/keywords in a CRM for a long time.  They're  
wonderful.   But so far I've never seen or heard of any mechanism to  
actually  manage them.  The assumption that they're managed by the  
crowd is nonsense.    (09)

People like acronyms, abbreviations, slang & jargon.  They're fun &  
useful... to an extent.   Are you aware there are 400+ meanings for  
"CC"?  My acronym dictionary prototype has an average of 34 meanings  
per term.    (010)

> 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.    (011)

This would be good.    (012)

What I've seen over & over & over & over again—and certainly see in &  
around claimed ontology efforts—is that there is ONE CORRECT truth.    
Which immediately puts 50% of the audience into defensive mode.   
Essentially:  "I know what I'm taking about... & YOU don't."    (013)

In the data management domain that's what's known as a "Data Nazi."   
Do we have ontology Nazis?    (014)

There's an old Pentagon joke (probably politically incorrect these  
days):    (015)

Q - Do you know the difference between a data modeler & a terrorist?    (016)

A - You can negotiate with a terrorist.    (017)

> A topic map values all world views    (018)

I'm not sure I agree with how this is said.    (019)

The world view of "a system" (an extremely slippery concept) is  
actually quite constrained.  I worked on a 3,000 year old banking  
application (Letters of Credit) that contains 808 distinct data  
elements and 387 unique terms.    (020)

In the context of a/many legacy systems what I want is the ability to  
easily find what's in Silo A (likely on a VERY narrow view).    (021)

That is... I want the ability to ask for "policy number" which I can  
guess at & be shown that since I'm in Silo A, one of the significant  
technical names is M0101.    (022)

Then if I say I also want to peer into Silo B, magically MSTR-POL-NO  
is what I'm needing to know.  Silo C... contract_id does the trick.   
In extreme circumstances, repeat 67 times (this might be something of  
a UI challenge.)    (023)

To date I have neither seen, nor heard ANY interest in this seemingly  
mundane task from the world of ontologies.  John Sowa excepted.    (024)

David Eddy
deddy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx    (025)

781-455-0949    (026)

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