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A valuable lesson on the difference between XML Schemas and ontologies

From: Costello, Roger L. <costello@mitre.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2011 14:19:15 +0000
To: "xmlschema-dev@w3.org" <xmlschema-dev@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B5FEE00B53CF054AA8439027E8FE177501C083@IMCMBX04.MITRE.ORG>
Hi Folks,

This week I learned a valuable lesson on the difference between XML Schemas and ontologies. I think you will find it of interest.

Warning: in the following two sections I will lead you down a path and attempt to persuade you that everything is reasonable and logical. Then, in the two sections after that I will change my position 180 degrees and attempt to persuade you that what I said previously is unreasonable and illogical.

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The Problem: Element Has No Information About The Kind Of Thing It Is
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In this section and the next I will attempt to persuade you to connect every element in your XML Schema to a semantic identifier.

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Some XML Schemas declare elements and do not associate them to anything. That is, there is no indication of what kind of thing an element is. For example, in the following XML Schema there is no indication of what kind of thing the title element is:

      <element name="title" type="string" />

That element declaration states the name of the thing (title), the type of data that the thing can have (string), but it says nothing about what kind of thing it is.

More ... http://www.xfront.com/What-Kind-Of-Thing-Is-It.pdf 

Comments welcome.

/Roger
Received on Friday, 4 November 2011 14:19:55 UTC

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