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Re: [ontac-forum] Type vs. Class - last chance to vote.

To: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Chris Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 20:56:06 -0600
Message-id: <20060123025606.GA72374@xxxxxxxx>
On Sun, Jan 22, 2006 at 09:42:50PM -0500, John Sowa wrote:
> CM> ... These languages [RDF and OWL] are expressively limited
> > and rather horrible to look at, but they have a lot of
> > important virtues, are in wide adoption, and are ignored by
> > this group at its peril.
> I must confess that my feelings of nausea when I look at them
> has prevented me from looking very hard.    (01)

Well, ok, I'm afraid that's sort of an understandable reaction. :-)    (02)

> I promise that I won't badmouth RDF and OWL, but I will use
> translators that map them to dialects of Common Logic that
> I find more congenial.    (03)

A fine plan of action.    (04)

> JS>> The word 'class' would hopelessly confuse the issue.
> CM> Properly axiomatized, it simply wouldn't.
> Are you claiming that anybody who hears or sees the word
> 'class' is expected to look up the axioms associated with
> the word every time they run into it?    (05)

Well, no, I think the concept in queesiton could be described informally
just fine.  Though a quick look at the axioms would alway do one good. :-)    (06)

> Why not just use the word 'type', whose common meaning
> (see above) implies the axioms we want to use?    (07)

I found your arguments that type is somehow more natural than class
entirely unpersuasive.  I think it is fraught with very similar 
ambiguities.    (08)

> CM> I fear this group is looking less and less like a WG and
> > more and more like other ideological war zones we've seen
> > over the past 15 years.
> Indeed it is.  Why do you insist on using the word 'class',    (09)

I've never insisted; indeed I've said it didn't matter cuz we can
axiomatize the intended concept.  What tilts the scales toward "class"
in my view is a pragmatic matter, viz., its adoption and use by the W3C
languages.    (010)

> when the common English word 'type' already says what we want
> to say?    (011)

Computers won't care which we choose, and workaday ontology writers will
need to be educated as to the semantic fine points of "type" no less
than "class".  Both are ambiguous in common and technical usage.  And
both are easily clarified.    (012)

-chris    (013)

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