Re: Call for Comments: SKOS Primer: W3C Working Draft 21 February 2008

Hi, Danny

Hope you are doing well.

As I wrote, SKOS is a good try, so can be changed for better. Since for its 
creators it might be useful to know that on the web there are not such 
things as concepts and constructs, but only signs, symbols, signals, and 
codes and symbolic structures. Everything else is external and extraneous to 
the web: ideas, thoughts, and images of human mind, objects, states, 
changes, events, processes and relationships of real world.

In its essence, the semantic web is a large scale semantic system, 
consisting of extensive sign system and signification rules, relating all 
information entities with all human mind/real world entities. As John Sowa 
observed: the Internet is a giant semiotic system of signs and symbols used 
by the agents to represent entities in the world and their intentions 
concerning them.

Re. your definition of the semantic web. It is good, but cover only one 
aspect. You need more general understanding. Try this two for the current 
web, with syntactic search engines, looke Google and Internet Explorer, and 
the semantic web, and find the difference.

The traditional syntactic web is a worldwide information space of resources 
and services and web agents interrelated by hypertext links, and which 
architecture is based on three principles: identification of resources by 
global identifiers; representation of resources states, or data formats; and 
interaction protocols (Architecture of the World Wide Web, 2004).

The semantic web is a worldwide knowledge space of intelligent contents and 
resources (programs, databases, Web pages, models, and sensors) and services 
communicating by reasoning systems via the standard ontology language 
encompassing the Internet markup languages, schemas, and logics.


azamat abdoullaev

 more on the standard ontology and the semantic web see

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Danny Ayers" <>
To: "Azamat" <>
Cc: "SW-forum" <>; "Antoine Isaac" <>
Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 1:24 AM
Subject: Re: Call for Comments: SKOS Primer: W3C Working Draft 21 February 

> Hi Azamat,
> On 27/02/2008, Azamat <> wrote:
>>  I.  ''SKOS — Simple Knowledge Organisation System — provides a model for
>> expressing the basic structure and content of concept schemes such as
>>  thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists, taxonomies,
>> folksonomies, and other types of controlled vocabulary.''
>>  Here is a confusion of different entities: constructs and words (terms).
> I don't know about confusion - perhaps a flattening, so that both
> words in structured vocabularies as well as conceptual structures can
> be represented in a coherent system.
>>  Besides, it is the domain of global ontology to cover all sorts of
>>  controlled vocabulary. No need to invent the SKOS.
> As far as I am aware, there is no machine-processable expression of a
> global ontology (assuming you mean the 'one true ontology'). In lieu
> of such a thing - assuming it possible - it is the domain of
> initiatives like SKOS to create things that are useful today.
>>   II. ''The fundamental element of the SKOS vocabulary is the concept.
>>  Concepts denote ideas or meanings that are the units of thought 
>> [Willpower
>>  Glossary] which underly the KOSs used in a number of applications
>>  [SKOS-UCR]. As such, concepts exist in the mind as abstract entities 
>> which
>>  are independent of the terms used to label them.''
>>  Here is a bad misunderstanding of the nature of semantics and its basic
>>  notions; namely:
>>  1. Vocabulary is a listing of words or the system of symbols and 
>> techniques,
>>  and hardly it is a conceptual system.
> Perhaps not, but there is at least a useful correspondence between
> words and concepts (one that has well-served the human for millennia).
>>  2. No ''concepts denote ideas or meanings''. There is general semantic 
>> rule:
>>  some symbols (signs) designate, while all constructs mean something in 
>> the
>>  world. Then, symbols (or signs) designate constructs (ideas, concepts,
>>  propositions, or theories), whereas the constructs mean real things. So 
>> the
>>  ideas are expressed by words, which signify the real entities to be 
>> named.
>>  Thus the meanings of ideas are signified by words, not by concepts. We 
>> say
>>  significance of the symbol and the meaning of the construct, what might 
>> be
>>  equivalent.
> I'm sorry, I can't parse that.
>>  3. There are words (signs, symbols, terms, codes) which signify only 
>> things
>>  in the world or only the ideas in the mind or both ideas and things.
> Ok. Words are messy.
>>  4. Concept is the unit construct, and the construct covers concept
>>  (individual, class, relation), proposition, context, and theory.
> I /think/ I get what you're saying there, and don't disagree.
>>  If somebody is striving for semantic web, he must have a good learning 
>> about
>>  the nature of meaning
>>  ( ) and the modes 
>> of
>>  signification ( by the 
>> kinds of
>>  things signified and the kinds of things which signify (signs, symbols,
>>  codes, terms, words).
> There I disagree strongly, in the first place probably because I use a
> different definition of "semantic web". My definition would involve
> the approximate modeling of real-world/human-world constructs in a
> form that lends itself to machine processing in the particular
> distributed computing environment we call the Web.
> This approximation, in terms of abstraction and sophistication, is
> very close to that predominant in existing conceptual modeling on
> computers - usually isomorphic to simple (named) entities & (named)
> relationships, the stuff we generally call data (or structured data).
> Apply the Web's naming scheme to this and take advantage of its
> protocols, and you get the Semantic Web.
> I think it's reasonable to say that a big part of the Semantic Web
> initiative is about finding sweet spots between sophistication of
> representation, ease of use with known computing systems, and
> compatibility with the most successful distributed system to date.
> So while "good learning" may be useful in the definition of the
> languages, for the Semantic Web to be successful, something a lot more
> elusive is needed. It needs the realisation that the system has to be
> one in which anyone with any form of knowledge can contribute, even in
> situations where there is disagreement.
> SKOS allows the expression of a fairly broad range of information in a
> useful form, and being built on basic Web technologies allows
> distributed development of conceptual structures - however crude they
> may be philosophically - even when those structures may not correspond
> 1:1 across communities. Because global agreement isn't a prerequisite
> it has a good chance of widespread adoption.
> If there was a single global ontology on which everyone could agree,
> not only would there be no need for SKOS, our emails would be much
> shorter :-)
> Cheers,
> Danny.
> -- 
> ~

Received on Friday, 29 February 2008 12:13:33 UTC