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RE: semantics -- Re: Group Note FPWD is done

From: <richard.murphy@gsa.gov>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2009 10:07:29 -0500
To: Owen.Ambur@verizon.net
Cc: "'eGov IG'" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>, public-egov-ig-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF9572D748.893DEEEC-ON85257571.004F61DF-85257571.00531573@gsa.gov>
Owen and Vasillios:

Semantics, especially s as we understand it in relation to the semantic 
web, does little, if anything, to resolve the issues below.

Pragmaticism and semiotics are terms used to describe these issues. 
Without spending too much time on an issue that may not resonate with 
others on the list, pragmaticism implies that a speaker understands 
meaning of a term as heard by a listener. Semiotics, the study of signs, 
recognizes that meaning implies interpretation and distinguishes 
interpretation from definition. 

The claim that plain language can capture all meaning disregards much of 
what science tells us about how we use language. Memes and neologisms are 
accepted ways of  communicating and accelerate cultural evolution.

I suspect that's probably enough for this list. You can read more about 
these issues on the ontolog forum here


or you can check my blog ...


Best wishes,


office: 202-501-9199
cell: 202-557-1604

"Owen Ambur" <Owen.Ambur@verizon.net> 
Sent by: public-egov-ig-request@w3.org
03/06/2009 09:05 AM

"'eGov IG'" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>

RE: semantics -- Re: Group Note FPWD is done

No disagreement at all, Vassilios.  The more semantic agreement that can 
be achieved in advance, the better.  
The point I wanted to make is that none of us should be paralyzed into 
inaction simply because others may disagree with us.  If each of us merely 
documents the meanings of our own terms in readily sharable format, 
disparate semantics can be understood and, hopefully, resolved over time.
The problem as I see it is that everyone uses their own terms while 
failing to document what they mean, in plain language.  That enables all 
of us to maintain the illusion of understanding on the one hand while each 
of us continues to apply our own interpretations to fit our own biases and 
views of the world, with the result that communication is less efficient 
and effective than it could be.
From: public-egov-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:public-egov-ig-request@w3.org] 
On Behalf Of Jose M. Alonso
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 6:17 AM
To: Peristeras, Vassilios
Cc: Owen Ambur; eGov IG
Subject: semantics -- Re: Group Note FPWD is done
Discussion now attached to ISSUE-1
El 06/03/2009, a las 11:27, Peristeras, Vassilios escribió:

Hello Owen,
I agree with you and disagree at the same time :-)
I think it is an issue of balance:
It is completely unfeasible to predefine all the semantics that you need 
and persuade everyone to follow the derived specs.
At the same time, it is feasible to create a minimum of common language, a 
thin semantic layer to avoid huge integration effort later. Which means 
that I personally buy the slogan "Little semantics goes a long way" (Jim 
Hendler, as far as I know).
This is in my opinion how the (semantic) web is evolving (see Dublic Core, 
SKOS, FOAF, SIOC as examples). Small specs that people can easily buy and 
use instead of heavy ontologies where you need PhDs to implement (e.g. 
Best regards,
-----Original Message-----
From: public-egov-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:public-egov-ig-request@w3.org] 
On Behalf Of Owen Ambur
Sent: 02 March 2009 23:16
To: 'eGov IG'
Subject: RE: Group Note FPWD is done
Jose, I'd like to see this section rewritten:
It is not necessary to agree upon the semantics in advance.  So long as 
definitions of the elements are documented, machine intelligence can be
applied to foster understanding of the differences.  It may also be 
to infer the semantics of the elements based upon the kinds of data that
actually occur between the tags.
-----Original Message-----
From: public-egov-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:public-egov-ig-request@w3.org]
On Behalf Of Jose M. Alonso
Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 5:09 AM
To: eGov IG
Subject: Group Note FPWD is done
It has been a very intense weekend. Some of us, namely Kevin, John and 
me have been working until the very last minute on developing the 
final draft. We have worked on the document until yesterday night, 
then called it done.
Final document is a snapshot of the current Editor's Draft [1] and we 
are requesting publication on March 10; comments will be welcomed 
until April 26.
Thanks John, Oscar, Daniel and Owen for providing content for the 
document. Very special thanks to Kevin for bearing with me over the 
last couple days and a great editorial work.
I think the document is quite solid but no doubt that with the help of 
others it could be greatly improved, so do not hesitate to send 
comments or offering authoring help.
[1] http://www.w3.org/2007/eGov/IG/Group/docs/note
Jose M. Alonso <josema@w3.org>    W3C/CTIC
eGovernment Lead                  http://www.w3.org/2007/eGov/
Received on Friday, 6 March 2009 15:10:59 UTC

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