At 1:19 PM -0400 3/17/08, Fabian Neuhaus wrote:
Okay, let me try to summarize. Everybody,
please let me know if I
misrepresented your position.
We are discussing the scope of the OOR, thus the minimal requirements
ontology has to meet.
Peter Yim and Ravi Sharma suggest the following:
(i) the ontology is based on open standards AND
(ii) an ontology that is created and maintained in a cooperative
that is, in principle, open to everybody who wants to participate
(iii) an ontology that is created and maintained in a transparent
(iv) the ontology is accessible to all who can be identified or
authenticated (at least Read only) AND
(v) the ontology is available under a license that includes virtually
restrictions on the use and distribution of the ontology.
[I assume that a standard is considered to be "open" if and
only if it
meets analogs of criteria (ii)-(v), FN]
Matthew West objects to (v).
Pat Hayes objects to (ii) and (iii).
For clarification, I don't object to (ii) and (iii), but I
do think that these should not be required. Insisting on any
conditions on the process that gave rise to the ontology adds a
considerable burden both to the cost of creating an ontology and to
the task of checking its credentials, and is completely irrelevant to
the users of the ontology. Very few, if any, extant published
ontologies fully meet conditions (ii) and (iii) above. Ontologies are
not standards: they are more analogous to pieces of software. No
software has ever been created by a process satisfying condition
It seems to me that this discussion won't
be resolved easily. If nobody
objects, I will put it on the list of topics to be discussed on
Ontological Summit during the "Quality and Gatekeeping"
Pat Hayes wrote:
> At 12:09 AM +0000 3/15/08, <matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
>> Dear Pat,
>>> The first. Only the ISO has this absurd policy
>>> charging cash for standards;
>> MW: There are others.
>> MW: But lets be precise about this. The problem has its
>> roots in ISO essentially seeing itself as a publishing
>> That at least is how it gets its income. The up side is that
>> does not charge to participate in standards development. Try
>> OMG charges if you want to see how much that can be, even
>> their specs are free to users (or W3C for that matter).
> I don't see why that matters, in the case of ontologies. The
> that gave rise to ontology is really not of any relevance:
> matters is the final product and the ability to use it. That is
> we should be focused upon.
>> MW: Now I think that ISO is outdated in thinking like this,
>> many of us are trying to persuade them to change, but that
>> still the current situation.
>> MW: Now, in ISO TC184/SC4 we have managed to get
>> to make all the computer interpretable stuff, i.e. what you
>> to implement the standard. So suppose someone makes their
>> OWL ontology available free, but then publishes a book
>> a publisher (who naturally charges for it) explaining its
>> How would you see that?
> If the same source published the book and the ontology, and if
> book was the only 'manual' or documentation available, I think
> would be close to inadmissible, and certainly bad practice. The
> here is not charging for the book, but withholding what should
> part of the openly accessible ontology itself.
>> How would that be different from what
>> ISO TC 184/SC4 does.
>>> moreover, I would
>>> not say that Matthew's interpretation of 'open'
>>> is universally accepted. The W3C is not open in
>>> this sense, for example.
>> MW: Indeed I would certainly NOT see W3C as open. This
>> some enough that they moved to
> But the results of the W3C process are openly available to
> without any payment, which for standard adoption is surely the
> point. Agencies pay a membership fee to join the W3C, but that
> sense to me: parties that are interested enough to want to
> a standard for commercial reasons tend to be those that can
> afford such membership fees. And the process is 'open' in the
> of being conducted in public: all the email archives, minutes
> meetings. etc. are publicly available and archived.
>>> >Is the OOR supposed restricted to ontologies
that are developed in an
>>> >open process and come with very light weight
>>> licenses (e.g. *
>>> >*Creative Commons Attribution )?
>>> Certainly the latter. Lets take a stand on
>>> It does not eliminate ISO participation, but it
>>> does require them to make any relevant
>>> freely available. They can do this, and have
>>> it in the past.
>> MW: Indeed, see above.
>>> Putting something into the OOR
>>> should make it automatically available for
>>> and use without restriction; like the GNU
>>> licences, it should not permit other copyright
>>> restrictions to be 'passed through' its open
>>> >Or is OOR open for all ontologies that are
developed in an
>>> open process
>>> >regardless of their copyright license?
>>> >Would the OOR be open for ontologies that are
>>> >by a group of people who don't want to
participate in an open process
>>> >but are willing to publish their ontology as a
>>> available resource
>>> >for the community?
>>> I have no problem with that part. We should
>>> permit ontologies that were constructed by one
>>> person in total privacy, or written on stone
>>> tablets by God, as long as they are freely
>>> available for public use without restriction.
>>> This is what 'open' means in 'open cyc', for
>> MW: I think the lack of an open process is a problem
> Why? If someone writes a useful ontology, or one is developed by
> small team, what possible harm can there be in making this
>> but I'm actually prepared to be more permissive.
>> For most of these issues above, I think the most
>> important thing is to be clear about what the
>> situation is. So there is a clear statement as to
>> - There is an open process for development
>> - How much do you have to pay to participate in that
>> - What is free, and what is not, and how much that is
>> MW: I do not suffer from the illusion that there are
>> no costs in developing an ontology. The only real
>> question is what is the business model?
>> - pay to join the development organization
>> - donate own time and resources to contribute
>> - sell services based on deliverables
>> - pay for deliverables
>> - ...
>> MW: In fact what I dislike most are the organizations
>> that charge for membership to participate in development.
> Well, in defense of the W3C, it has managed to extract a
> remarkable amount of participation from me without my paying a
> cent. On the other hand, I havn't been paid a red cent,
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