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Re: [ontolog-forum] master data vs. ontologies

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2015 23:17:23 -0500
Message-id: <54E41253.30601@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Folks,    (01)

I have very little patience with arguments about meanings of words.
For words that are so vague that such debates arise, I suggest the
refrigerator principle:  *When in doubt, throw it out.*    (02)

I'll avoid listing the smelly words in this note because the howls
of people losing their favorite crutches would prolong the thread.
Just a few comments:    (03)

> Now Services frames and detailed Security Architecture
> implementations etc. have made separation into clean cells
> [as in Zachman's framework] difficult?    (04)

I don't believe there is any such thing as a perfect ontology,
notation, formalism, theory, or methodology that is ideal for all
purposes.  I collaborated with John Z. on that paper because I
thought that it was useful for what it did.  I wanted to show
that his framework is compatible with formal methods.    (05)

> I find schema-awareness in XSLT is a blessing, do you have
> any thoughts on that?    (06)

As I said to Ravi, I don't think that there is any one-size-
fits-all solution for all purposes.  And I always regard legacy
systems as *successful* systems. They can last 40 years or more.
Forced conversion (e.g., RDB2RDF) is *not* interoperability.    (07)

In the case of Prolog, for example, I would provide support
for XSLT (and related tools) as a kind of adjunct to DCG.
Systems that use XSLT should be able to use it forever,
but it should be interoperable with solutions based on
Prolog (and/or other logic-programming tools).    (08)

> On the Topic MDM and Ontology does Infosphere Data Architect
> (which I believe is a new offering) come as a workable solution
> even if some Tool-Break aspects are manually or through import
> export addressed?    (09)

I have been away from IBM from years, so I don't know what
their plans may be.  But the comment about "tool breaks" in the
IBM Redbook stirred up painful memories.  The list of projects
to support interoperable systems <http://www.jfsowa.com/ikl>
shows that many people have been trying to avoid tool breaks.    (010)

> but my fundamental point is that isn't any such thing as
> an un-relational database management system. Such a system
> would be 100% useless    (011)

I agree.  All you need to represent full first-order logic is
three logical operators (and, not, some) plus an open-ended set
of relations.  If you have that, you can redefine (or discard)
a huge number of smelly words:  attribute, property, role,
characteristic, feature, slot, facet, trope, subject, object,
verb, class, type, category...    (012)

Whenever people argue about the meaning of those words, I tell
them, "Either define them in logic or throw them out."    (013)

John    (014)

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