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Re: [ontolog-forum] fitness of XML for ontology (WAS: [ontology-summit]

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Duane Nickull <duane@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 03 Feb 2014 09:55:21 -0800
Message-id: <CF151729.2C5121%duane@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
JSON is a generalized markup.  I can use the key values to describe any
other domain.    (01)

XMl has nothing to do with semantics.    (02)

XML has the ability to make data portable and can be used to transfer
ontological or semantic models, or fragments thereof, between applications.    (03)

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On 2014-02-02 3:28 PM, "Paul Tyson" <phtyson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:    (06)

>The summit proprietor requested we move this thread to ontolog-forum.
>I changed the subject because I'm weary of the derogatory harangues and
>cheap pot-shots about XML that crop up whenever a topic touches on
>tools, data formats, or W3C standards. Let's have a frank and focused
>discussion, preferably derived from in-depth first-hand experience,
>about whether and how XML can benefit ontology practice.
>Executive summary of my position:
>Those who don't use XML in this area only have one oar in the water.
>Furthermore, for the competent DIYer, all the standards and open-source
>tools are available to build useful, and even breakthrough,
>ontology-driven applications today in any enterprise using RDF, XML, and
>associated standards around each (SPARQL, SKOS, OWL, RIF, RDB2RDF, XSLT,
>XPath, XProc, etc).
>Responses to John included below....
>On Sat, 2014-02-01 at 20:46 -0500, John F Sowa wrote:
>> Paul,
>> Your note of Jan 24 was buried in a ton of notes in this thread.  But I
>> just wanted to comment on the following exchange:
>> JFS
>> >> But many voters in the W3C were in the grip of an untested ideology
>> >> -- the use of XML as a wrapper for knowledge representation
>> PT
>> > Untested? 30+ years of experience, starting with IBM's internal use
>> > and transitioning to an ISO standard (SGML) in widespread use for
>> > large-scale publishing, and then universal deployment on the WWW in
>> > the guise of HTML? What would you consider "tested"? Maybe ASCII?
>> I am *very* familiar with the *ML family of languages.  In the early
>> 1970s, I was working at IBM, just down the hall from Charlie Goldfarb.
>> He introduced me to GML for word processing.  Today, I still prefer
>> to edit HTML tags for word processing instead of using MS Word.
>> (I use OpenOffice or LibreOffice to convert HTML to .doc or .pdf.)
>> In the late 1980s, I was working on standards for computational
>> linguistics, and I *recommended* SGML for annotating texts.  I
>> still recommend the *ML notations for that purpose.
>> But there is a *huge* difference between annotating texts and doing
>> knowledge representation.
>Your use of "annotating texts" sounds dismissive in comparison to the
>holy grail of "knowledge representation". I don't get the distinction
>when it comes to machine-readable data. In both cases you must feed a
>sequence of characters--some subsequences of which look like words to
>humans--to a computer process. To make the sequences of characters
>intelligible--to humans or computers--we use markup (or a degenerate
>form of it in fixed-field-length records). As far as I know, there's no
>getting along without markup if you want to get useful data in and out
>of a computer process. So your only choice is whether to use
>specialized or generalized markup. (As you know, but others mightn't,
>the "G" in SGML was for Generalized. And the "S" for Standard, so you
>have a standard generalized language, not a proprietary one. Perhaps the
>lack of
>these reminders in the XML acronym contributes to the prevalent lack of
>> In the 1990s, XML was *untested* technology
>> as a notation for kn. rep.  The exercise with RDF/XML and OWL/XML
>> notation has demonstrated that using XML for that purpose was a
>> major *blunder*.
>The only "blunder" was (in retrospect) undue emphasis on RDF/XML as the
>only valid RDF exchange syntax, which has long since disappeared,
>leaving only a strawman target for churlish criticism. RDF/XML itself
>is--conceptually--an elegant solution to the problem of representing
>graph data structures in a thoroughly hierarchical markup model. (It is
>certainly not the only possible solution.) The fatal limitation of
>RDF/XML is that the universe of URIs that people want to put in RDF
>cannot be mapped easily to the range of allowable XML element names. I'm
>not going to judge whether the designers of RDF/XML should have foreseen
>this, or whether they should even have adopted a system that required
>such mapping. It's a moot point. Here and now, you can choose to use
>RDF/XML if it works for you, or ignore it if it doesn't. But don't throw
>marbles on the floor to trip up people who are or aim to be productive
>with XML and ontologies.
>> Google went back to the lightweight RDFa as a bridge between the
>> annotation and JSON for knowledge representation.
>As above, I don't get the distinction. They chose a standard specialized
>markup language for getting their data in and out of computer processes.
>It works for them now. By the time they build it out to do all XML can
>do, they will have reimplemented a generalized markup language.
>>  And guess what?
>> JSON is just LISP with brackets and curly braces.
>LISP and JSON are both fine specialized markup languages with varying
>degrees of usefulness in programming, "annotating text", and "knowledge
>representation". They are *not* generalized markup languages.
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