Re: LANG: need to CLOSE Issue 5.6 Imports as magic syntax

Jim (and others)

Those of you who read my discussion with Tim should realize that the
solution he proposed was that if a document mentions a term from a
namespace, that the statements from that namespace should be merged with
the document when processing (essentially this an implict imports). I
admitted that in the example I described, this would work (but only as a
workaround, it would force people to design ontologies in a certain way
to take advanatage of this behavior). Note, though to have any semantic
interoperability, this behavior would have to be stated as <em>part of
our semantics.<em> If we chose to do this, then it would also have the
side effect that we would then not be able to add on the ability to
"import parts of ontologies" because by default, simply mentioning a
term from an ontology implicitly imports the whole thing.


Jim Hendler wrote:
> [various stuff snipped]
> I've been avidly following this discussion, and also carefully read
> the dialog between Jeff and Tim Berners-Lee publicly logged at [1].
> I find myself torn - on the one hand, I'm certainly familiar with
> Jeff's work in SHOE and the use of something like "imports" to mean
> "Commits to" -- i.e. that I agree with EVERYTHING that some ontology
> (or set of instances or whatever) says, whether I link to it directly
> or not. On the other hand, I'm beginning to better understand what
> Dan (and Tim) are saying about maybe we want to allow more freedom to
> explore different commitment methods and the like.
> I would ask the following - if imports is an optional feature (we've
> already agreed it doesn't have to be used), and since anyone can
> invent their own term to explore a different commitment strategy what
> is the downside of including an imports statement of the type Jeff
> advocates?)
> For example, I am playing with something that looks a bit like this:
>   <> jim:commits
>     [jim:partialMappingTo foo: ;
>      jim:usingMappingRules bar: ] .
> in some recent research, and don't see where the existence of
> imports, which I won't use here, bothers me.  I couldn't live with
> the meaning that referring to something in another ontology
> automatically had the strong implication that imports does (total
> agreement), but I have no real problem with one I don't have to use,
> but can if I want that particular meaning.
> So Dan, I guess this is to you -- why do you think including one
> particular imports method would be premature standardization?  Would
> it help if we made sure that documents (all or some) made it very
> clear that this use of imports was optional?
>   -JH
> p.s. This is not meant to be rhetorical, I'm really trying to
> understand both sides.
> [1]
> --
> Professor James Hendler                 
> Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies     301-405-2696
> Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.    301-405-6707 (Fax)
> Univ of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742          240-731-3822 (Cell)

Received on Thursday, 31 October 2002 09:58:05 UTC