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Re: [ontolog-forum] Accommodating legacy software

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Andries van Renssen" <andries.vanrenssen@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2012 15:50:10 +0200
Message-id: <02cd01cd89db$092894b0$1b79be10$@vanrenssen@gellish.net>
you stated: " we should simply understand semantics and then appreciate how
they affect expression via languages."
I attempted to do so and I developed basic semantic structures as summarized
in http://www.gellish.net/topics/semantic-modelling.html
The structure is accompanied by a dictionary-taxonomy of concepts, including
also kinds of relations.
What do you think about it?    (01)

Andries    (02)

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] Namens Kingsley Idehen
Verzonden: zondag 2 september 2012 16:43
Aan: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Onderwerp: Re: [ontolog-forum] Accommodating legacy software    (03)

On 9/1/12 1:37 PM, John F Sowa wrote:
> Denise, Michael B, Kingsley, and Andries,
> Before commenting on the details of your notes, I'd like to emphasize 
> an excerpt from the original DAML report by Tim Berners-Lee:
> TB-L
>> The goal of interoperability between heterogeneous components that we 
>> build is one that will test the extent to which the Semantic Web is 
>> achieving its promise. The more diverse the systems interoperating, 
>> the greater the merit of the Semantic Web.
> The date of the proposal is February 2000:
> http://www.w3.org/2000/01/sw/DevelopmentProposal
> That quotation comes from Section E on Evaluation.  Twelve years 
> later, we would expect to see interoperating systems running all the 
> languages and tools that Tim mentions (plus a lot more).  But instead 
> of trying to support maximum diversity, the SW developers narrowed 
> their goals to just RDF data with a deliberately restricted subset of
> DB
>> I'm including this post and the DAML proposal as required readings in 
>> my Semantic Analysis Methods course...
> I'm glad that you like the note.  But you might add more progress 
> reports for the DAML project.  The first is an "Intent of Work" from 
> March 2001, which is fairly close to the proposal, but the words 
> 'diversity' and 'heterogeneous' are missing:
>      http://www.daml.org/2001/04/iow/mit/
> Following is a progress report from February 2002:
>      http://www.w3.org/2002/02/iow2
> An ominous sign is that the word 'interoperability' occurs only once.
> The very expressive Semantic Web Logic Language (SWeLL) occurs 8 times.
> A new language called DAML+OIL is mentioned 6 times.
> Another report from November 2002:
>      http://www.w3.org/2002/11/DAML-IOW
> Interoperability is mentioned once.  DAML+OIL is mentioned 6 times as 
> a combination of a query language plus a rule language.  SWeLL is 
> mentioned 8 times, but a new language called OWL also occurs 8 times.
> Finally, the Final Technical Report from September 2006:
>      http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA458366
> The most disappointing part of this report is that SWeLL, which was 
> supposed to include propositional, first-order, and higher-order logic 
> in the original proposal has now become "Notation N3" for representing 
> RDF triples.  N3 would allow some rules to operate on RDF data, but 
> most of SWeLL is gone.
> But the most disgusting part is that interoperability is now defined 
> as the ability to use N3 on independently developed systems that all 
> use RDF.
> No legacy systems, no relational databases, and no possibility of 
> interoperating with any data not represented in RDF.    (04)

John,    (05)

You are right in some ways, but there are nuances that need to be
considered. Let's start with RDF, what is it actually?    (06)

Semantic Webbers:    (07)

Its everything.    (08)

To The Experienced (and forgiving, and I want you to be forgiving):    (09)

Its about the entity-attribute-value model enhanced with explicit semantics.
In addition, and this is where it all goes so wrong, messaging wise, its
also happens to be about a collection of syntaxes and serialization formats.    (010)

The problem with RDF is that its a cacophony of conflation. To make matters
worse, zealotry has coalesced around this broken cacophony such that even
trying to connecting with the entity-attribute-value model (from which its
unequivocally inspired) is considered heresy.    (011)

Of late, I coined the phrase "R-D-F reflux" I used it to refer to folks to
have a gut reaction to those letters due to the ill effects of the
conflation and zealotry for which it (unfortunately) it is now associated.    (012)

Let's try to move past the mistakes of the past to a future that beneficial
to all. Let's try to veer the conversation towards the
entity-attribute-value model distinct from any RDF specificity since at
best, its just an optional route.    (013)

What ultimately matters is the ability to refer to entities (real world or
otherwise) using URIs combined with the ability to craft their digital
representations via Web documents where content format is varied albeit
constrained by the same fundamental data model. With the aforementioned in
place, we can then appreciate the virtues of denoting real world entities
with URIs that resolves to descriptor documents (or data objects) via
indirection.    (014)

TimBL veered back to the Linked Data meme because he clearly realized that
RDF and the Semantic Web Project were veering off course. 
Unfortunately, once the Linked Data meme took off, the gut reaction of the
RDF & Semantic Web crowd was to once again make a power-play by conflating
both things. Yes! They decided that it was beneficial to conflate RDF and
Linked Data, even though history provides ample evidence for the folly
inherent in such thinking and execution strategy.    (015)

> MB
>> I recently wrote RDF2RDB for people who want to use RDF data but do 
>> not want to operate a triple store or learn SPARQL:
>>    http://www.netestate.de/De/Loesungen/RDF2RDB
> Yes.  Translations in both directions are the minimum requirement for 
> systems to interoperate.
> But note that it is now 2012.  In 2000, Tim B-L emphasized 
> interoperability among heterogeneous systems as a primary requirement 
> for the Semantic Web.    (016)

Yes, and the zealots destroyed all visibility re., that fundamental goal.
> KI
>> Linked Data picks up where OLE-DB, ADO.NET, JDO and the like have 
>> failed woefully, due to myopic platform specificity. It also 
>> addresses to challenging issue of platform agnostic structured data 
>> representation that accommodates multiple syntaxes...
> That's fine.  Tim's vision of 2000 could have addressed those issues.
> Unfortunately, the SW became narrowed down to what the DAML project 
> was able to implement.  I wouldn't expect one implementation project 
> to be able to implement the entire vision in the 2000 proposal.    (017)

Of course not. Again, folks with a different agenda took over. Hence that
debacle.    (018)

> It's unfortunate that the SW became redefined to just what the DAML 
> implementers were able to finish by 2006 + some incremental refinements.
> It's time to rethink the goals of the SW and redefine the layer cake 
> to incorporate a broader vision that is closer to original (plus the 
> new ideas that have been introduced since 2000).    (019)

Linked Data is trying to achieve this goal. It isn't RDF syntax or
serialization specific. Its basically the entity-attribute-value model
enhanced with URIs and explicit semantics re. subject-predicate-object or
entity-attribute-value.  When all is said and done we have:    (020)

1. entity-attribute-value + classes and relationships model -- relationship
semantics are implicit 2. ditto + URIs and explicit relationship semantics
-- pitched as the RDF model 3. ditto + RDF Schema + OWL - additional
relationship semantics.    (021)

As I am sure you know, the RDF zealotry can be so chronic that some even
believe RDF and Semantics are one and the same thing :-(    (022)

> MB
>> I recently stumbled over Pat's ISWC 2009 keynote proposing "surfaces" 
>> that would give RDF the full power of FOL
>>   http://videolectures.net/iswc09_hayes_blogic/
>> and I wonder if the RDF WG is actually going a bit in that direction. 
>> For example, would it be feasible to realize "surfaces" with a simple 
>> semantic extension to the "RDF Spaces and Datasets"
> I have no idea what the RDF WG is going to do.  But note that Pat was 
> suggesting that RDF evolve in the direction of the existential graphs 
> by Charles Sanders Peirce.  The surfaces that Pat mentioned are the 
> "sheets of assertion" that Peirce mentioned.
> For more about Peirce's existential graphs, you can start with a talk 
> that I presented on the topic:
>      http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/moving.pdf
> For a more detailed treatment, which includes my commentary on a 
> tutorial that Peirce wrote, see
>      http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/egtut.pdf    (023)

Pat is trying to get the current RDF working group to understand this
matter. He's offered proposals, and folks are warming to his guidance. 
As you know, these matters take time, but I am really confident he will
succeed.    (024)

> AvR
>> If we really want to achieve that systems talk a common language for
>> interoperability and data integration, then we should develop and use
>> a kind of Formal English (and other formal natural language variants)
> I agree.  Following is a talk I presented about controlled NLs:
>      http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/cnl4ss.pdf    (025)

Methinks, we should simply understand semantics and then appreciate how 
they affect expression via languages. There is no perfect language, but 
you can have pretty darn good semantics that are universally understood, 
appreciated, and exploitable via different languages :-)    (026)

> John
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--     (028)

Regards,    (029)

Kingsley Idehen 
Founder & CEO
OpenLink Software
Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
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