W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-logic@w3.org > May 2001

Re: What do the ontologists want

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 00:28:22 +0100
Message-ID: <007c01c0df29$289ced00$7cf989d4@z5n9x1>
To: "pat hayes" <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Cc: <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>
> Did it never occur to you that natural language IS a
> global information space? [...]

Yes, but thankfully it passes :-)

I think the distinction is that if you use natural language as your
"global information space", then you have to somehow get a machine to
grok it - you're trying to get machines to grok a huge body of
infromation, and while the end results would be incredible, it's a big
task. So, why not start at the bottom and work your way up? That's
what the Semantic Web, and RDF, affords us - a chance to create our
own langauges, and tailor them to our implementations, rather than the
KR approach, which has always been to use existing langauges and then
see what comes out of it.

The KR folk have a great body of work behind them, and it's an
intreguing field, and one that has contributed far more to the
Semantic Web in general than any other sector, IMO. I agree with
DanBri that the situation is not at all like WWW vs. hypertext people
in '80, although there are a few resemblances, the main one of which
(that Len Bullard often points out) is that sometimes it can be seen
as reinventing the wheel. It must get frustrating to explain to people
the essentials of logic ond ontologies to people who, try as they
might, are simply not going to get it [welcome to the humiliating
world of professional lecturing :-)]. But at the end of the day, there
are advantages to be grounded in the Web - it's here, and it's now.
Less ambiguity.

> Using RDF would be like trying to fill a reservoir using
> teaspoons.

That's what I mean - but we're not trying to fill a reservior here, we
just want a glass of water.

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://webns.net/roughterms/> .
:Sean :hasHomepage <http://purl.org/net/sbp/> .
Received on Thursday, 17 May 2001 19:28:08 UTC

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