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Re: [ontolog-forum] What goes into a Lexicon?

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2012 10:16:05 -0500
Message-id: <4F5235B5.3080405@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 3/3/2012 7:33 AM, Michael Brunnbauer wrote:
> All I want to say is that RDF (not RDF/XML) can be useful even without
> triple stores, SPARQL or OWL.    (01)

I agree with that.    (02)

To clarify my attitude toward the Semantic Web, I'll quote from
a comment I made on a different thread:    (03)

> My recommended policy is to integrate and support *everything* --
> and the only systems I complain about are the ones that force
> a fixed, one-size-fits-all paradigm on everything.    (04)

When Tim B-L announced his goals for the Semantic Web in the
late 1990s, I was enthusiastic about them.  I was somewhat less
enthusiastic about the original layer cake because it put a
specific syntax (XML) and a specific representation (triples)
at the foundation.    (05)

But at least the original layer cake contained a box labeled
"logic" in the middle.  That was promising, although I would
have put logic in the foundation.  Over time, however, several
proposed versions of logic, such as SWRL and RuleML, were
exiled from the layer cake because they were "undecidable".
Now, the only things left are RDFS, SPARQL, OWL, and RIF.    (06)

But the only implementation of RIF is the highly restricted
(and mostly unusable) subset that conforms to OWL semantics.
The tiny box labeled "unifying logic" is a fraction of the
original size -- and it looks like the grin of the Cheshire
cat as rest of it vanishes.    (07)

The new layer cake destroys any hopes I had about using the SW
as a basis for integration.  The decidable fragment of OWL is
so restricted that anything beyond a toy example requires some
other language as a supplement -- usually a typical procedural,
Turing-complete language.    (08)

We need a bridge between those languages and the semantic system.
UML and related methodologies show that such bridges can be built,
and they have proved to be highly useful for mainstream IT.  But
you can't use a decidable language to define or specify what is
done with an undecidable language.  OWL models are restricted to
trees.  You can't use it to define a triangle, a benzene ring,
or just a wheel.    (09)

In summary, I believe that anything that anybody has found to be useful
for some application is indeed useful.  That includes all of the SW
technologies in the layer cake.  But it also includes a huge number
of other technologies that must be supported by *Semantic Systems* .    (010)

John    (011)

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