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Re: [ontolog-forum] Webby objects

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 23:27:55 -0500
Message-id: <50A7124B.1080803@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat,    (01)

Thanks for the comments on the historical issues.    (02)

> Neither Roger nor Doug had any significant input to the  workings
> or discussions of the DAML committee...
> Bob McGregor gave no input to the DAML or OWL process whatsoever,
> but complained loudly after the proposals were published as recommendations.
> He is my prototypical example of why silence has to be taken as consent.    (03)

That's too bad.  But I wish Tim B-L had made more of an effort
to invite and cajole more people with practical experience to
participate.  I had invited both Roger S and Doug L to participate
in events that I had organized -- and they came.  I think that both
of them (and certainly MacGregor) would have made an appearance and
stated their views, if Tim had asked them.    (04)

> But OWL Full is not DL based, is not decidable, and is not
> a leftover from DAML. I feel rather strongly about this because
> OWL Full is essentially my invention, produced in the teeth of
> often heated opposition from the DL enthusiasts on the WG, who had
> written detailed memos proving that it was impossible (because
> of the Russell paradox).    (05)

Thanks for that info.  I had wondered how those two versions of OWL
had evolved.    (06)

> Ian Horrocks is of the view that only a decidable logic can really
> be called a logic, and that classical logics are simply inadequate
> to capture the richness of human reasoning.    (07)

That is a truly weird view.  I agree that human reasoning is richer
than any system of formal logic.  The proof is simple:  they were
all invented by humans.    (08)

But the evidence of what mainstream IT has been using for the past
half century should have great deal more influence than somebody's
pet theory about human cognition.    (09)

> Unfortunately, there are many users who either ask for, or worse
> simply *presume* decidability. So that if you give them a system
> which sometimes says "no answer", they will simply take this as
> the answer, "no".    (010)

End users are totally clueless.  But they would never use OWL.
The kind of people who would use any KR language are at least
as sophisticated as the kind of people who use SQL -- and they
have been happily living with neg as failure for nearly 40 years.    (011)

> Which is one of Ian's arguments: whatever you give users, they will
> treat it as an oracle. So it had better *be* an oracle, to avoid trouble.    (012)

If I had a problem in computational complexity, I'd ask Ian for advice.
But I'd never ask him for advice about what real programmers need.    (013)

> David Ferrucci told me that it uses a wide variety of systems and notation,
> including RDF and OWL. Admittedly not widely, but it does use them.    (014)

That's consistent with what I heard and read.  In any case, IBM research
had hired Guha at one point because of his work on the SW.  But they
developed UIMA instead of adopting any of the SW notations.    (015)

> Since DAML's job was to invent a single notation, what would you have had
> it say about diversity and heterogeneity?    (016)

Tim's proposal included much more than just a notation.  In any case,
the SW should recognize that people who have working systems will not
abandon them to adopt anybody else's notation.  Tim's original layer
cake showed SWeLL as an interchange format among heterogeneous systems.
He did not assume that any of them would change their language.    (017)

But the SPARQL people keep saying that they "interoperate" with SQL
because they can convert an RDB to a bunch of triples.  The people
with triple stores who make a profit support SQL -- because that's
what the programmers ask for.    (018)

> The fact is, most of the useful data out there is starting to get rendered
> into RDF, and when that is done, it is immediately useful and almost
> immediately made use of. And until that is done, it is not of the slightest
> use to me and I am sure to a large number of other people.    (019)

The data in natural languages is far larger and growing much faster than
anything in any formal language (including RDF).  And the R & D on NLP
is getting to a level where automated extraction into any formalism you
like will become the norm.  But that's another story.    (020)

John    (021)

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