John, Ed, and Leo,
Although my thesis did not discuss ontological questions in general, I would propose following the thesis approach in represent ontologies: Use an artificial language, such as Tala, based on the syntax of a natural language such as English, to represent ontological information in general. Use other formal languages and notations to represent ontological information as appropriate in various domains.
This supports a point made earlier in this thread by Ed and John, that no single model (or language) is adequate for representing all ontological information.
> Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:19:22 -0400
> From: sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx
> To: eslowry@xxxxxxxxxxxx; ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Discussion re reasoning about Time and State with REST interfaces
> Ed and Leo,
> > Cyc ... expressed its knowledge in a formal language which
> > was deficient on 7 simplicity-related leading edges compared
> > with a language design distributed at IBM in 1973.
> As you know, I was favorably impressed with your PROSE language
> (Properties and Relations of Objects Simply Expressed) and the
> software you developed to support it. I have always believed
> that we needed highly readable languages supported with tools
> to integrate them with mainstream commercial software.
> > I would propose translating the Cyc ontology into a better
> > language, redeveloping the Cyc inferencing capabilities to
> > exploit the simplicity, and seeing what improvement is made.
> PROSE or something like it might have been a good step in the right
> direction in 1991. I believe that a PROSE-like notation that could
> integrate procedural programming *and* logic programming *and* DBMS
> might have been a winner -- it would have been like Java on steroids
> with logic-based tools.
> In 1991, Cyc was still a part of MCC, which had a group working
> on advanced software development tools. But the MCC structure
> did not promote any collaboration between projects. In any case,
> Lenat wanted to do AI research, not software development.
> > Cyc wandered in the wilderness... before eventually settling on a
> > mostly first-order logic language, CycL. But this was fairly late.
> > Lenat, Douglas; Ramanathan Guha. The Evolution of CycL, The Cyc
> > Representation Language... SIGART Bulletin, June, 1991, pp. 84-87.
> Since Cyc was founded in 1984, I would consider 1991 fairly early.
> They have been using CycL for over 23 years.
> Around that time, I urged Lenat to devote more effort to applications.
> But he said that they had a limited amount of funding, and he wanted
> to devote all the funds to research. I tried to make the point that
> application development would bring in more funding than it would
> consume. But he still believed that he needed to a bigger knowledge
> base before he could begin to develop applications.
> I don't know the details of why Lenat and Guha split. Guha said that
> the typical users needed a simpler subset of logic than CycL. He went
> to Apple, where he developed an early version of RDF, but he continued
> to use a LISP-like notation. In the late 1990s, Guha collaborated
> with Tim Bray at Netscape on what became RDF.
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