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Re: [ontolog-forum] Consensus on labeling of relationships?

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "doug foxvog" <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2013 17:13:36 -0400
Message-id: <b15b114cfea092448e4414ba91dc4ce8.squirrel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Tue, May 21, 2013 16:21, William Frank wrote:
> On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 2:55 PM, doug foxvog <doug@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> On Tue, May 21, 2013 08:16, Phil Murray wrote:
>> > ...
>> > I, too, am uncomfortable with the habit of using English as the
>> > default language of representations of meaning.    (01)

>> Would you prefer Latin?  ... Chinese?  ... semi-arbitrary alphanumeric
>> strings?  OBO uses the latter.  It is good to have mappings from
>> the terms to whatever language the users use.    (02)

> I do believe that this misses the intended point. It is not the individual
> english words that are the problem, but rather the inference that each
> word has a separate meaning,
> or that clus[t]ers of english words, like 'has a',
> have any specific, non-contextual meaning,    (03)

This seems a very different point -- and one i agree with.  One should
never think that one knows the meaning of a term just from its name.
*Always* read the documentation the first time you come upon a term
so you have a far better idea of the meaning (if the documentation is
well written).  It is useful (and necessary if the documentation is not
well written) to read all the defining statements.    (04)

One doesn't use
a Java method without understanding what it does and what its
limitations are.  If editing someone else's code, one doesn't use
existing variables without knowing exactly how they are used and
with what scope  Why should it be different for terms in an ontology?
Non-ontologists who interact with the ontology should use an API
which could hide the terms and their technical details.    (05)

-- doug foxvog
> --
> William Frank
> 413/376-8167
>    (06)

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