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Re: Tech Plenary: agenda Best Practices

From: Deborah L. McGuinness <dlm@ksl.Stanford.EDU>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 2004 11:36:57 -0800
Message-ID: <40478559.6080903@ksl.stanford.edu>
To: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, schreiber@cs.vu.nl, public-swbp-wg@w3.org
i agree that we should not give instruction from on high.
At the same time, I think it is important to have more examples of how 
ontologies have been written in semantic web languages and used in some 
applications that people might relate to.
We do not need to present the work as religious doctrine  but instead 
present it as something that we have done after considering other 
options, optimally present some other options and say what the tradeoffs 
were, and then give examples from which people might be motivated (or 
even cut and paste) and build their own.

The "living with classic paper"  was a very early attempt to do 
something like this.  It provided a methodology that we used for 
building an ontology that was used in the wine and food domain.

It tried not to say this is the only way or even the best way   but it 
did try to say, here are some tradeoffs and here is what we did and it 


Jim Hendler wrote:

> At 12:37 -0600 3/4/04, Pat Hayes wrote:
> 4. Finally, this is a negative suggestion, but I would oppose any 
> attempt to tell the world how best to write ontologies; or if we 
> cannot avoid doing that, then let the advice be severely pragmatic and 
> free from philosophical punditry. There is a lingering (festering?) 
> tendency among some folk to want to give instruction from on high to 
> the great unwashed on how they should best think and express 
> themselves. Unfortunately this advice is similar to most religious 
> doctrine: most of the energy is spent in endless debates between rival 
> doctrines, you can find some of it somewhere to justify almost any 
> action you want to take anyway, and when the rubber meets the road 
> most of it isn't really directly applicable in any case without an 
> expert there to interpret it for you.
> Hear, Hear - a big +1!  (or is it -1 in this case?)  I definitely 
> agree w/Pat -- if for no other reason that I think as we explore the 
> new space of the Sem Web, we discover new ways to use the old stuff, 
> and we shouldn't over prescribe too soon
> Pat
> --
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 Deborah L. McGuinness 
 Associate Director Knowledge Systems Laboratory 
 Gates Computer Science Building, 2A Room 241 
 Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-9020 
 email: dlm@ksl.stanford.edu
 URL: http://ksl.stanford.edu/people/dlm
 (voice) 650 723 9770    (stanford fax) 650 725 5850   (computer fax)  801 705 0941
Received on Thursday, 4 March 2004 14:37:19 EST

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