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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 05 Feb 2014 01:51:10 -0500
Message-id: <52F1DF5E.4080901@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Paul,    (01)

Have you ever tried to do long division with Roman numerals?    (02)

> And what, specifically, about XML disqualifies it for the purpose
> of encoding and transmitting these arrangements, particularly when
> if you aim at the largest possible scope of people, platforms,
> programs, and persistence (i.e., web-scale and enterprise-worthy)?    (03)

You can represent numbers in many different ways.  All of them are
equally precise and equally suitable for transmitting the data.    (04)

But if you have to do any kind of computation with those numbers,
you need a notation whose structure reflects the structure of
the fundamental relationships among those numbers in as clean,
simple, and direct a manner as possible.    (05)

Computationally, binary notation happens to be the most efficient
for a digital computer.  But it is hard to read by people.    (06)

If people had eight fingers on each hand, hex notation would be
great as a compact way to group bits in a readable way.  But since
most of us have five fingers on each hand, we've learned to count up
to ten very early in life.  Therefore, we adopt a system based on
ten for human use with a translation to binary for computers.    (07)

For logic, the algebraic notation for logic is based on Boole's
analogy between the arithmetic operators for +, x, - and the logical
operators of 'or', 'and', 'not'.  That is the basis for most linear
notations for logic, which have a clean, simple mapping to the basic
logic words of English and other NLs.    (08)

There are also good analogies between the operations of logic and
various graph-based operations.  Graphs are widely used for logic.    (09)

But the XML-based representations, which are good for annotating and
formatting documents, obscure rather than clarify the logic.  Their
verbosity makes them bloated and inefficient for humans and computers.    (010)

The large number of alternative notations is a bad sign:  nobody invents
multiple notations for well-designed languages.    (011)

John    (012)

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