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RE: AW: [ontolog-forum] Current Semantic Web Layer Cake

From: <tim.glover@bt.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2007 10:43:05 +0100
Message-ID: <AEF15555D64C494CA393778177A3A1710177BF89@E03MVC1-UKBR.domain1.systemhost.net>
To: <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Cc: <semantic-web@w3.org>



Henry wrote:

>>>>>

In logic programming you could always write something like

Bachelor(x) :- Unamarried(x), Man(x) .

But you knew that someone else could define those terms differently so
you could not merge the work from different groups easily, even if you
thought it was of the highest quality. The semantic web takes this
global naming seriously, and makes it clear how all these technologies
can work together, how they can be integrated. Neither UML, MOF, nor SQL
nor prolog nor any of the other languages made this clear.

<<<<<

Well I agree that the major problem of data integration is the fact that
people use the same words in subtly different ways. But can someone
please explain to me, how does putting http://xyz in front of all the
names help? 

"...someone else could define those terms differently..."

If you mean by giving a different human interpretation of these words,
that is beyond the scope of the semantic web. If you mean by writing
alternative, inconsistent statements about bachelors and marriage, I
have heard repeatedly that that is perfectly acceptable, if not
positively encouraged! 

Is it because people who want to use a different definition can use a
different URI? But how do they KNOW that their definition is the same or
different from someone else's? The difference in meaning lies precisely
in the use people make of the words. What is to stop me and a colleague
across the planet from innocently and with the best of intentions using
the URI in different ways, each believing that what we are doing is
correct in our own context?   And having used different URIs, how do we
integrate that part of our knowledge we agree on? 

Perhaps the answer is something to do with dereferencing? Well it was
recently pointed out on this thread that a dictionary is a mechanism for
dereferencing ordinary names to content. But you seem to believe that
this does not solve the problem for ordinary words. Why is the web
logically different from a very partial dictionary, where most of the
entries are in Chinese? 

Sorry to be so dense :(

Tim. 
Received on Monday, 6 August 2007 09:43:22 GMT

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