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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Paul Tyson <phtyson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 03 Feb 2014 23:00:29 -0600
Message-id: <1391490029.5907.46.camel@tristan>
On Mon, 2014-02-03 at 09:55 -0800, Duane Nickull wrote:
> JSON is a generalized markup.  I can use the key values to describe any
> other domain.    (01)

Sure you can. Like Humpty-Dumpty, you can pay any string of characters
extra to do whatever you want it to do. But you typically have to pay
less for them in XML because the XML parser does a lot of the tedious
work for you. Take for example the class of well-paid strings known in
SGML as "generic identifiers", or in XML simply as "element names". They
are instantly recognized by the XML parser as markup, whereas a key
value in JSON is just another key value until the programmer writes some
code to handle it otherwise.    (02)

The "generalized" part of generalized markup applies to grammar as well.
You can construct your own markup tokens at will without having to
reconfigure the parser. If your application (or development process)
requires validation of the markup, it falls out of the box with XML. Not
so with JSON.    (03)

> XMl has nothing to do with semantics.    (04)

I'm not sure what you mean here, but I think I agree, and I call it
goodness. The purpose of a markup language is first off to separate one
string of characters from another, and secondly to guide the parser in
putting the various chunks in different buckets so the application can
do something useful with them. I don't know in what sense "semantics" is
needed or wanted for these operations.    (05)

> XML has the ability to make data portable and can be used to transfer
> ontological or semantic models, or fragments thereof, between applications.    (06)

Understated but accurate.    (07)

--Paul    (08)

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