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Re: (SeWeb) Re: SUO: Re: REQUEST: survey of available ontologies, taxonomies,thesauri, lexicons?

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@mitre.org>
Date: Fri, 05 Apr 2002 06:35:12 -0500
Message-ID: <3CAD8BF0.7010205@mitre.org>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
CC: www-webont-wg@w3.org

I *was* being fair--or at least as fair as most of the others on the 
discussion seemed to be :-)  A "puzzled" or "amused" reaction would have 
been fair enough.  But when folks take a diagram obviously intended for 
expository purposes, read the worst possible interpretation into it, 
appear to assert this is in fact the meaning, and then go on about it, I 
merely thought I'd suggest an alternative meaning that seemed to me 
closer to the facts.   I'm not a professional ontologist, and the lesson 
*I* drew was that folks on the SUO list seem to spend an awful lot of 
time making mountains out of molehills, and then bewailing the relative 
heights of the mountain and the molehill.


PS:  That non-RDF syntax is considered verboten really *is* an issue, 
and one I wouldn't mind seeing having further discussion.

Pat Hayes wrote:

>> Bill--
>> Why not interpret "higher in the diagram than" as meaning "guides the
>> use of" rather than as "less basic than" or "following after"?  It seems
>> to me you're sewing a vest onto an awfully small button.
> Well, to be fair, that layer-cake diagram has become a kind of altar 
> decoration, something to be worshipped rather than critiqued. It is 
> largely meaningless, as we all know, yet I bet that it is incorporated 
> into over a hundred Powerpoint presentations. Ive done it myself. If it 
> really is simply BS, let us stop advertising it. If it means something ( 
> which Bill and John S. had the graciousness to presume that it was 
> intended to) then we might legitimately ask what exactly it is supposed 
> to mean. After all, having XML and RDF in the base of that diagram seems 
> to represent something very real to a lot of people in the W3C, although 
> it is rarely stated very clearly, and it has had a very strong influence 
> on the development of the SW activity, not always clearly beneficial. 
> Our upcoming F2F agenda has that diagram incorporated into its agenda, 
> and one can feel its baleful influence stifling discussion already 
> (non-RDF syntax is VERBOTEN! Any discussion of 'rules' is OUT OF LINE!! ).
> Maybe the Webont group should draw a lesson from the fact that every 
> professional ontologist who looks at that diagram is either puzzled, 
> amused or horrified.

Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
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mailto:fmanola@mitre.org       voice: 781-271-8147   FAX: 781-271-875
Received on Friday, 5 April 2002 06:25:05 UTC

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