Re: [unrev-II] Semantic Community Web Portal

From: Peter Jones (
Date: Sat Sep 08 2001 - 09:24:14 PDT

  • Next message: Jack Park: "Re: [unrev-II] Semantic Community Web Portal"

    Bernard Vatant wrote:
    >Bottom line :
    >Binding separately developed but overlapping ontologies will need
    >non-ambiguous stable binding points. Topic Maps people call that Published
    > Subject Indicators.

    Dear Bernard,

    (At the risk of being grievously outspoken, opinionated, re-opening old
    wounds, and so forth...)

    Not necessarily. It does require *negotiation* of degree of equivalence, or
    measure of similarity of concepts for the purposes of that particular
    agreement to communicate.

    There are aslo deep, future, ethico-political issues tucked away in that
    assertion of need, on the assumption that Topic Maps will become/are
    becoming a significant technology in global human affairs. (And from what I
    know of the process, everyone is so beloved of mad-dash development of the
    technology that I am uncertain as to whether anyone in that group could
    possibly have had the time to consider those issues fully.)

    <rant severity="Gee, I wish I didn't have to...">
    I don't agree with cultural imperialism;
     I do believe that *simple* mechanisms of cultural compromise can often
    result in losses for both parties;
      I don't believe that relinquishing the idea of concepts as theories is a
    good idea long term, particularly in respect of innovation;
       I would love to see someone nail down the PSI for 'vagueness' first, so
    that we can all point at it together with a percentage indicator when none
    of us agree completely about any other PSI we're pointing at later on.
    How do I know that a particular PSI I've created because I couldn't find any
    other PSI that expressed what I needed to have someone else agree about will
    be construed in exactly the same manner by anyone else?
    Will I need a Topic Map of the PSIs so I can find a PSI on the Web that
    suits my purposes?
    Will I need a Topic Map of Topic Maps of PSIs...?

    I know the technology well, I know its advantages and its limitations.

    I know that in most senses Topic Maps is still a prototypical technology,
    and that therefore I am not asking that they be the complete solution to
    Life, The Universe, and Everything, all at once, now.
    However, I would respectfully request of the Topic Maps standard development
    community that they look very hard at the question, "Is there a better way
    of doing X?" all the way down the line, not just for the sake of more
    efficient algorithms, and not rush things.

    I want these things to improve the quality of users' lives.
    Faith without due consideration is dangerous.

    Best regards,

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Bernard Vatant" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Saturday, September 08, 2001 10:09 AM
    Subject: Re: [unrev-II] Semantic Community Web Portal

    > Alex, Jack and all
    > Speaking of Semantic Community Web ...
    > Jack and other people on this forum keep feeding the list with very
    > links.
    > This feeding is indeed one of my main sources to augment the semantopic
    > base.
    > For those who wouldn't know yet about it, see
    > For example, DAML and Frank van Hermelen have been included for a while
    > respectively at
    > I've not included yet Alex and TouchGraph, but will do it ASAP. I've
    > with TouchGraph and really like it!
    > One thing I wonder is why people there would not like to add direcly their
    > resources to this data base, since semantopic is an open collaborative
    > project, and in fact, it's thought from the beginning to be kind of
    > Community Web Index (if not Portal)
    > A resource included in the semantopic map is linked to relative resources,
    > and makes much more sense there than simply included in a message soon
    > buried deep in a forum archives if you did not bookmark properly!
    > Getting an user login is easy. Just contact me. Before the end of the
    > we'll have a new user interface, much more friendly and easy to use. Hope
    > that will help collaborators to step in.
    > About below quotation by Jack. I feel completely tuned with the notion
    > developed by many people lately that we have a kind of equivalence "web
    > community" <=> "collaborative ontology".
    > That reminds me, Jack, the "famous" debate where we met one year ago on
    > topicmap mailing list.
    > and
    > following thread. Still relevant IMO.
    > And from recent exchanges here and there, I would add now "semantic web"
    > that equivalence list. Meaning there will be as many "semantic webs" as
    > communities" and matching "collaborative ontologies". Of course
    > and ontologies overlap, since every one of us belongs to many communities
    > (familial, regional, professional, technical, business, market, cultural,
    > interest, ... )
    > Bottom line :
    > Binding separately developed but overlapping ontologies will need
    > non-ambiguous stable binding points. Topic Maps people call that Published
    > Subject Indicators. In the frame of new TopicMaps.Org organization in
    > a Technical Committee on Published Subjects is presently in the process of
    > approval. As soon as all that is official (should be one or two weeks from
    > now), I'll make an announcement here.
    > You can see the draft charter for this committee at
    > Bernard
    > -------------------------------------------------
    > Mondeca - "Making Sense of Content"
    > -------------------------------------------------
    > ----- Message d'origine -----
    > De : "Alex Shapiro" <>
    > À : <>
    > Envoyé : samedi 8 septembre 2001 08:59
    > Objet : Re: [unrev-II] Semantic Community Web Portal
    > > Jack,
    > >
    > > Have you heard of Frank van Harmelen?
    > >
    > > He is of the editors of the DAML+OIL specification.
    > >
    > > I especially like him for this paper:
    > >
    > > --Alex
    > >
    > >
    > > At 10:11 PM 9/7/01 -0700, you wrote:
    > >
    > > While looking hard at DAML/OIL as the candidate detailed knowledge
    > > representation scheme for Nexist, I have run into numerous very
    > interesting
    > > web pages. This is one such page, all starting by surfing from
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > "Community web portals serve as portals for the information needs of
    > > particular communities on the web. We here discuss how a comprehensive
    > and
    > > flexible strategy for building and maintaining a high-value community
    > web
    > > portal has been conceived and implemented. The strategy includes
    > > collaborative information provisioning by the community members. It is
    > > based on an ontology as a semantic backbone for accessing information
    > > the portal, for contributing information, as well as for developing
    > > maintaining the portal. We have also implemented a set of
    > > tools that have facilitated the construction of our show case - the
    > > community web portal of the knowledge acquisition community."
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