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RE: [VM] Need a section about (Formal and Natural) Languages in Vocabularies?

From: Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2004 12:54:39 +0100
To: "Thomas Baker" <thomas.baker@bi.fhg.de>
Cc: "SW Best Practices" <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <GOEIKOOAMJONEFCANOKCAEDHFCAA.bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>

Thanks Tom for this move. The distinction between "for humans" and "for machines" has been
a crucial aspect of the work on PSIs. So it will help to clarify what you asked me to
write about those (TDB soon).
More generally, seems to me all aspects of VM should consider the "human" vs "machine"
aspects, reminding that the objectives are to ensure seamless use of vocabulary at three
types of interfaces.

	machine-to-human (and vice-versa)
	human-to-human (directly or through a network of the previous ones)


Bernard Vatant
Senior Consultant
Knowledge Engineering

"Making Sense of Content" :  http://www.mondeca.com
"Everything is a Subject" :  http://universimmedia.blogspot.com


> -----Message d'origine-----
> De : Thomas Baker [mailto:thomas.baker@bi.fhg.de]
> Envoye : mardi 9 novembre 2004 12:28
> A : Bernard Vatant
> Cc : SW Best Practices
> Objet : Re: [VM] Need a section about (Formal and Natural) Languages in
> Vocabularies?
> On Fri, Oct 29, 2004 at 12:50:30PM +0200, Bernard Vatant wrote:
> > I think we miss an important section in the document about the Language(s)
> > in which a Vocabulary is published.
> > When I say Language, it's both so-called "Natural Languages" (like e.g.
> > http://psi.oasis-open.org/iso/639/#fra) and "Formal Languages" (XML, RDF, OWL ...).
> > I would gladly see those added to the consensual glossary, something like.
> >
> > Formal Language : A formal standard syntax in which the Vocabulary is issued
> > Natural Language : A language in which the terms are originally expressed (wording to
> > improve here)
> On further reflection, I agree with Bernard that we should
> have something along these lines in the consensual glossary.
> For one thing, it would help us make the distinction
> between the two good-practice points 2.4 and 2.5 ("Provide
> documentation about the Terms" and "Declare the Terms using
> a machine-processable schema language") [1].
> The possible definitions and what they imply about the nature
> of language are endless.  Our task is not to define them
> in the abstract, but simply to help the reader understand
> the distinctions we are making in the paper.  To my way of
> thinking, the intended distinction is essentially: "for humans"
> as opposed to "for machines", as in:
>     Natural language:  A grammar and vocabulary for statements
>                        that can be uttered, written, and understood
>                        by ordinary humans.
>     Formal language:   A grammar and vocabulary for statements
>                        intended for processing by machines.
> I will add these to the VM draft as placeholders and am sure
> we can improve on their wording.  In the meantime, this would
> be a good time to air any arguments against making such a
> distinction in the first place.
> Tom
> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-swbp-wg/2004Oct/0148.html
> --
> Dr. Thomas Baker                        Thomas.Baker@izb.fraunhofer.de
> Institutszentrum Schloss Birlinghoven         mobile +49-160-9664-2129
> Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft                          work +49-30-8109-9027
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> Personal email: thbaker79@alumni.amherst.edu
Received on Tuesday, 9 November 2004 11:55:10 UTC

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