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Re: [ontolog-forum] doing standards [was - Re: Webby objects]

To: Hassan Aït-Kaci <hak@xxxxxxx>, "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: David Eddy <deddy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 11:05:07 -0500
Message-id: <3533ECA3-CC96-43DE-9CD8-FD5324B6FB14@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Hassan -

On Nov 28, 2012, at 10:27 AM, Hassan Aït-Kaci wrote:

a paper I wrote back in 1982 [!] 

Evidently 1982 was an active year.  

$NAME—an interactive mainframe software utility to automate the enforcement of "good names" (using YOUR language & rules)—was first sold to Merck & then Xerox.  Someone else had a batch product that attempted the same sort of controlled language & consistency process.

The product went in the bit bucket in 1993 when it was declared that "search engines" (whatever they were) would be so powerful & wonderful that the effort to control language & the discipline to make "good names" would be entirely unnecessary.

I have duly noted that exceedingly few organizations have even the dimmest idea what their language is (from CEO to coder to clerk) much less the rules for language usage.

A note on "standards"... in the domain of language, "standard" does not mean that a term/phrase will always be used the same or mean the same.  "Standard" means: in this context, this term/phrase/label mostly means XYZ.  If in a different context XYZ means the same, great, but don't count on it.  Avoid at all costs the guranteedd-to-lose political battles of " MY meaning is correct & YOURS is wrong."

Standard does NOT mean there is one & only ONE usage/meaning for a term/label/name/phrase.

I imagine naming standards thusly:  water = {ice, snow, rain, fog, hail, cloud, water vapor, ...}.  The important part—at least in my brain's filing system/ontology?—I can reach in & determine which word is contextually correct for the current situation.

As always, my primary context is the use of unnatural language in & around software applications & other such cryptic, jargon rich environments.

- David

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