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Re: What do the ontologists want

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 00:38:44 +0100
Message-ID: <008b01c0df2a$886ae060$7cf989d4@z5n9x1>
To: "pat hayes" <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>, "Stefan Decker" <stefan@db.stanford.edu>
Cc: <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>
> my understanding was always that this is something we (RDF,
> Semantic Web folks) DON'T want to do (building a globally
> coherent ontology).

I agree that this is something that we don't necessarily want to set
out as a goal, because if we do, we'll almost certainly fail. But on
the other hand, if you have lots of small ontologies shared in the
Web, and you have loads of tools that process them, and then you have
complex tools that let you transform from one to the other, then you
might end up doing something a bit like that. Perhaps.

CWM already does it, but it does it for one format, N3, and it's a
closed world, and it has loads of bugs. But it gives me hope because
it shows that Webized information is easy to repurpose, at least on a
small scale. Once we have more robust tools, then we'll probably be
able to tell.

In the meantime, we'll go on building the pedantic web, and
undoubtedly some areas will get messed up - there's always going to be
fragmentation. But there's always going to be pockets that work, and
that's all that matters. I think the difference is in how far people
are setting their sights - many want this to be a solution to all the
engineering nightmares of the past 50/100/1000 years... but others
just want something to plan their meetings based on several different
languages (hereafter referred to as the "Connolly Test").

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://webns.net/roughterms/> .
:Sean :hasHomepage <http://purl.org/net/sbp/> .
Received on Thursday, 17 May 2001 19:38:24 UTC

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