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Re: [ontolog-forum] Intelligent ids and postal codes, was ONTOLOG commun

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: David Eddy <deddy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 22:35:00 -0400
Message-id: <E3DF9F88-75FF-4F1D-8890-751FC5ABDD38@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Hans -

On Sep 11, 2013, at 9:22 PM, Hans Polzer wrote:

Regarding your milk example, it assumes you are going to a store in an English-speaking country.

Absolutely NOT.

Why would I assume that?

Only implicit assumption I brought to the message was that I was posting to an English language list.

This is of course an excellent example of the semantic issue... I come to the table with a set of implicit, unstated semantic assumptions... likewise, you come to the table with your own set of assumptions.  Do they match?  Unlikely.

How does SW help deal with this issue?

So if you encounter something with the word “milk” on its label in a store, do you really know what you are getting if you buy it? Not without a lot more context information.

I was only attempting to make a grossly oversimplified point that in the physical world "good labels" tend to do a better job of being related to the contents of the container.  There are a bunch of motivated players from udder to jug to assure contextual clarity.

My now severely dated experience inside systems was that there was often/typically minimal relationship between the label & the actual contents.  As far as I can tell the meaningful label issue (e.g. does the label give me some useful semantic clues about the data "inside") has not been addressed.

David Eddy
Babson Park, MA


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