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Re: Ontology Wars? Concerned

From: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2009 01:52:24 +0100
Message-ID: <1f2ed5cd0911241652y59fe5575p9206e4368778b785@mail.gmail.com>
To: martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org
Cc: Paul Houle <ontology2@gmail.com>, nathan@webr3.org, pedantic-web@googlegroups.com, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, Alison Broady <alib@wyehead.co.uk>
Hi Nathan,

A good question, the way it gets answered as far as I can see depends
on what you're after.

Glad to see you're thinking linked data.

But people really do try to overthink it when it comes to ontologies,
in my opinion:  ideally the best ontologies/vocabs will win -

- rubbish.

The ontologies/vocabularies on machines will always be poor
reflections of the things they try to describe. There is a huge amount
of software around these days (and has been for many years) that tries
to describe things. The advantage that the Web languages have is that
it can work in a big distributed environment. Put a marker down (a
URI) for a concept or a dog and it's reusable.

When it comes to multiple ontologies - yes, it's a reality. In
practice maybe it means lots of different clauses in the query - but
that depends on how far you want to ask. What are you interested in?
Certainly good practice says as a publisher of information you should
use existing terms wherever appropriate rather than invent (c'mon,
should I call the creature next to me a wurble or a dog?). But
everyone can make up their own terms, and there's nothing wrong with

To answer your subject line, the only way we can avoid ontology wars
is by making the field flat, globally. I think we have that now, at
least in principle.


Received on Wednesday, 25 November 2009 00:52:57 UTC

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