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Re: [ontolog-forum] Schema.org is not OWL-based (was Re: Toward Human-Le

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: Hassan Aït-Kaci <hak@xxxxxxx>
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 14:11:45 -0400
Message-id: <535E99E1.9030808@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Kingsley,    (01)

These are tactical issues, not strategic.    (02)

> I use OWL examples because OWL exists and is implemented across
> many  tools, including the ones I use.    (03)

I *always* support pragmatic engineering choices to solve whatever
problems the customers may have.  But I also emphasize the need
to work toward better long-term methods for being pragmatic.    (04)

> The world isn't comprised solely of English speakers. In addition,
> use of English and formal logic don't have to be mutually exclusive.    (05)

Absolutely!  I always use the term 'CNL', not 'Controlled English'.
And I also emphasize the need for a language-independent formalism
as both the *logical foundation* and the *interchange format*.    (06)

> but who is using Aristotle's notation (directly) right now in regards
> to merging disparate data sources across the Web, Intranets, and Extranets?    (07)

Three points:    (08)

  1. Aristotle's four sentence patterns are an instantly intelligible
     subset of every CNL.  They require ZERO training to explain them.    (09)

  2. Each one has a direct translation to any formal notation:
        A:  Every X is a Y.     =>  X is a subtype of Y.
        I:  Some X is a Y.      =>  X and Y overlap.
        E:  No X is a Y.        =>  X and Y are disjoint.
        O:  Some X is not a Y.  =>  X is not a subtype of Y.    (010)

  3. For an ontology, those sentence patterns specify the hierarchy.
     When you add if-then rules, you get an order-sorted Horn-clause
     logic.  It's *readable* in any CNL, and it can be translated
     to very efficient and powerful reasoning systems.  For example,
     http://www.hassan-ait-kaci.net/pdf/login-jlp-86.pdf    (011)

> There are already enough notations in existence today.    (012)

I *totally* agree.  Nobody wants to bother learning a new language.
IBM got burned with PL/I.  They learned that "Languages don't sell."
SourceForge shows that you can't even give them away.    (013)

Therefore, use any language that your customers already know.
They already know some NL.  Let them use a CNL they can read without
a training course of any kind.  If they already know some kind of
diagrams or conventions, adopt *their* notation, not yours.    (014)

Fundamental principle:  If you want people to be virtuous, make virtue
the path of least resistance.  Don't force them to learn a new notation.
The major blunder of the SW was to invent the world's worst notation.    (015)

John    (016)

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