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

To: Ontology Summit 2008 <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2008 08:47:17 -0500
Message-id: <47E11965.7010907@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Barry,    (01)

I certainly agree with that point:    (02)

 > If an OOR is to be useful, then potential users need to have
 > reliable expectations as to what it will contain.    (03)

But the next assumption does not follow:    (04)

 > This means some sort of gatekeeping. This means in turn that
 > some things will not be included.  But not including something
 > in an OOR is not equivalent to banning that something. There
 > are always other ponds in which one can play.    (05)

An important point about a repository is that it contains a
large amount of metadata, among which would be records about
who developed, used, revised, and extended it and the results
that were obtained in various applications.    (06)

But an ontology that is optimal for one range of applications
is not likely to be optimal for all purposes.  Therefore, it's
essential to include all the alternatives, with a detailed
record of their uses, successes, and failures.  That metadata
provides the guidance that developers need to make a choice.
Then they can "vote with their feet" to determine which one(s)
are most appropriate for various applications.  And the ultimate
decisions would be based on results -- not a priori opinions.    (07)

At this stage, there is very little evidence that anybody knows
what an ideal ontology would be.  The most thoroughly developed
contender with the longest history of applications is Cyc.  But
many people have criticized Cyc for many different reasons.    (08)

Yet Cyc, or at least OpenCyc, would undoubtedly be one of the
major contenders as the foundation for an OOR.  But I would not
recommend Cyc as the *only* contender.    (09)

John    (010)

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