The paper "Knowledge, Language and Semantics: XML and VHG(tm)" found at
gives a fascinating glimpse into knowledge management from the perspective of the semantics encapsulated in documents.
Quoting from the paper:
However, XML only addresses syntax so the tags are semantically free. It is extensible because it allows anyone to devise his or her own tags. However this freedom requires new methods of adding semantics to these tags. For example a <MOLECULE> is meaningless to a machine and probably to many humans. There are at least three methods of adding semantics to the tags: -
1. XML stylesheet but most stylesheets are aimed at enhancing human readability;
2. Per-element software. For example, XML combines with java so that the semantics must be hard coded into java and thus not easily accessible to humans;
3. Linking tags to glossaries, one of the threads of this article. Glossaries allow a large amount of structured information to be added to any tag in an XML document. The linking will be done through XLL so that clicking on a tag can reveal its semantics. "
In "Fermats Last Theorem", Simon Singh7 devotes his final chapter 8 to Grand Unified Mathematics. The solving of Fermats Theorem is consistent with the unification of many apparently diverse branches of mathematics. Perhaps Knowledge Management is a unification of the diverse branches of people, process and information management. If so, we hope that VHG (TM) can play some small part in unification by bringing meaning and semiotics within easy reach of everyone on the web.
James Bailey8 describes "The New Intermaths in the Information age" as part of a current age of pattern recognition. There is no doubt that at the edges of chaos on the web resides a pattern of order that could result in unification of knowledge management provided those currently in information management can be persuaded to lend their skills to the web.
In this article, we describe the current markup languages used on the web and the emerging XML. Through active participation of information professionals in crossing the boundaries of specific disciplines, we hope that VHG (TM) will play a part in the semantics and syntax of the emerging languages of knowledge. However, both authors recognise there is a long way to go, not least in standardisation of knowledge management. "
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