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Re: [ontology-summit] [Quality] What means "open" in "Open Ontology Repo

To: <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: <matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 09:17:35 -0000
Message-id: <808637A57BC3454FA660801A3995FA8F06A2D20F@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Pat,
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.  
MW: I have to disagree with this. Ontologies are much more analogous to the specifications that software is made from. Standards often form part of that specification, and even user requirements are usually agreed amongst the users or their representatives. On the other hand I quite agree that few ontologies (as far as I know only those developed as data models in ISO like ISO 15926) have been developed this way. On the whole, I think it is a statement about the maturity of ontology as a discipline that people like yourself would consider that an open process for development was such a hard thing to achieve in practice. It implies that getting consensus at present is hard to impossible.


Matthew West
Reference Data Architecture and Standards Manager
Shell International Petroleum Company Limited
Registered in England and Wales
Registered number: 621148
Registered office: Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 20 7934 4490 Mobile: +44 7796 336538
Email: matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx

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