W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-wg@w3.org > April 2012

Re: regrets and a new spin on contexts

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2012 23:02:08 -0500
Cc: W3C RDF WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <88D399CC-6ACA-4235-A30E-D4287ACB2A8B@ihmc.us>
To: Thomas Baker <tom@tombaker.org>, Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>

On Apr 25, 2012, at 11:40 PM, Thomas Baker wrote:

> On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 01:32:30PM -0400, Sandro Hawke wrote:
>>> However, I do not like calling these things "semantic extensions".  Pat talks
>>> about imposing additional "conditions" or "constraints" on the interpretation
>>> of IRIs.  To me, "limiting" and "constraining" are the opposite of "extending".
>>> As in the DC discussion ten years ago, the word "extension" hints at things
>>> quite different from limiting and constraining (like coining new IRIs).  If the
>>> intended scope of "semantic extensions of RDF" is the interpretation of
>>> existing IRIs, could we call them something like "semantic annotations" or
>>> perhaps "semantic clarifications"?
>> 
>> How about "ontologies"?     
>> 
>> I'm amused, but I'm also 100% serious.   An ontology is a set of
>> constraints on the meanings of terms.   In some cases, OWL might not be
>> the right language to express the ontology -- in some cases, we need 100
>> pages of natural language prose.   It's still an ontology.

Yes, it is, and I had the same thought. Ontolog spent almost a whole year, a few years ago, trying to define "ontology" and didn't do much better than the original Gruber from 2003, "an explicit specification of a conceptualization". However, also agree with Tom:

> Interesting. I'm amused too, but the word "ontology" is widely associated with
> OWL, not with less formal methods for constraining the interpretation of IRIs,
> such as the 100 pages of natural language prose.  In terms of messaging,
> "ontology" makes peoples' eyes glaze over and thus presents a barrier.  I don't
> think it would be effective as a label for the more informal sorts of
> constraints Pat wants to include.

Including, note, the completely empty one. I think this is going to be one of the most widely used, in fact. It is a way of saying "I don't know or care what exactly we mean, I can't give you any definitions, but I am publicly and explicitly agreeing with all these pther people (who all use this context flag) in any case. So yes, you *can* merge my stuff with theirs."

>  "Informal ontologies"?  For that talk, I'd
> like to be in the audience...!

Me too.

Pat

> 
> Tom
> 
> -- 
> Tom Baker <tom@tombaker.org>
> 
> 

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Received on Sunday, 29 April 2012 04:02:42 UTC

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