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RE: What do the ontologists want?

From: Danny Ayers <danny@panlanka.net>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 00:36:34 +0600
To: <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>

>-----Original Message-----
>From: www-rdf-logic-request@w3.org
>[mailto:www-rdf-logic-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of tim finin
>Sent: 15 May 2001 23:02
>To: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
>Subject: Re: What do the ontologists want?
>One thought I have is that we might differ about
>what kind of ontologists we should be trying to
>support.  There is a wide spectrum, from philosophers
>to logicians to KR people (neat and scruffy) to DB
>people to Java programmers trying to build a better
>web site.
>We want to be sure that we don't focus to obsessively
>on the philosopher end and thereby fail to give the
>work-a-day practitioner anything that makes a difference.

Worthy sentiments, and as someone that spends most of his waking hours
hacking web-related Java I should wholeheartedly endorse them. Ok, so
disappearing down the philosophical path can lead to angel counting. We
don't really need to know where this stuff fits in the universe as a whole,
but there is a definite need for a sound theoretical footing. I've had many
confusion attacks recently due to things such as the RDF version of
reification, and referring to the resources I have on hand as a coder hasn't
much helped (mainly recent downloads, with the exception of a Scheme book,
from which the idea of quotation muddied the water nicely). The problem is,
not very far down the line it is likely that coders like me will be using
these features, perhaps even the exotic ones. To find then that the logical
foundations are shaky will be too late. At this stage I reckon us lumpen
have little to offer except vague ideas and suggestions, it's really up to
the logicians to cement these together with some well-proven mortar, only
then will it be time for the practitioners to break it all and hand back the

Danny Ayers
Received on Tuesday, 15 May 2001 14:41:23 UTC

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