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RE: Ontology editor + why RDF?

From: Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler) <RogerCutler@chevron.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2006 13:20:43 -0500
Message-ID: <0C237C50B244FD44BE47B8DCE23A3052011C6462@HOU150NTXC2MC.hou150.chevrontexaco.net>
To: "Waard, Anita de A (ELS-AMS)" <A.dewaard@elsevier.com>, public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org

Well, I myself am particularly interested in commercially available
products built on Semantic Web technology, but of course I'm not in the
life sciences so maybe that's not an interesting data point.  As for
interoperable formats -- that sounds like a good thing, but you can also
get interoperability via interoperable access techniques to proprietary
formats, right?  So is there a specific value to making the formats
themselves common?   I must say, strictly for what it's worth, that my
personal experience with trying to make common formats has been somewhat
discouraging, and I have come to be more positive about more loosely
coupled schemes where the interfaces are standardized, not the
underlying data.  But this is based on areas rather different from
thesauri in the life sciences.

-----Original Message-----
From: public-semweb-lifesci-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-semweb-lifesci-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Waard, Anita
de A (ELS-AMS)
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2006 4:47 AM
To: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
Subject: RE: Ontology editor + why RDF?

In this discussion, I would be intersted in separating:

A. WHO does what (and do they charge for it): 
- Who owns and distributes content (free for all vs. sold for a fee)
- Who owns and distributes thesauri/ontologies (,,)
- Who connects thesauri/ontologies to a) text (indexing) and b) other
thesauri (thesaurus mapping) (,,)

B. HOW do they do this:
- Using open (free) technology vs. using commercially available
technology And
- Using interoperable formats vs. using proprietary formats. 

My understanding was/is that the semantic web is specifically about
doing B:
using openly avilable technologies and interoperable formats, to access
and link enriched content through thesauri/ontologies. 

It seems in these discussions some items from list A. are getting added
as well e.g.:
[Jim Myers] 
> the public (at least domain specialists) should be able to specify 
> models
> publish information conforming to them without help from knowledge 
> engineers or software developers
[Jim Hendler]
> One thing I'd love to see would be some interoperability between the
products of 
> various publishers by linking their thesauri/vocabulary/ontologies.  

Interestingly enough, the use cases that I have seen where semantic web
technologies are actually being used in large-scale practice are not on
the 'open' web, but instead inside large organisations: Siemens, large
hospitals, some major pharma conpanies. There, interoperability is key,
but the content and the thesauri are usually not free (either in the
sense of 'without cost' or in the sense of 'available to all') nor is
the annotation/indexing done by 'the general public'. Rather,
specialists (knowledge engineers and software developers) set up a
system that uses RDF/OWL for accessing and linking internal, commercial
sources - sometimes to the outside world, but sometimes specifically to
internal proprietary sources. 
Also, linking taxonomies is done in various commmercial products. 

So my question is: if (content and indexing) offerings are commercial
and proprietary, does it make them less "semantic"? Does
interoperability require openness?

Anita de Waard
Advanced Technology Group
Elsevier, Amsterdam
Content and Knowledge Engineering
University of Utrecht
Received on Monday, 10 April 2006 18:21:08 UTC

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