Working ontologies LO26141

From: Winfried und Kirstin Dressler (
Date: 02/16/01

Replying to LO26113 --

> I would want to back up a bit and speak of ontologies as the essence of
> something as differentiated from the existential as having to do with its
> expression in time an place. That distinction isn't claer to me in the
> discussion set out.

Hi Jane,

For the products of our company, we have prepared the 'essence' of a
service manual in a 'language' called SGML (standardized general markup
language). Basically, it defines what the content of a service manual
should be without giving any content. For example a manual is devided into
chapters, a chapter has a headline, text, drawings, references to parts,
warnings etc.

A completed service manual for a specific product then would be an
'expression in time an place'.

A well known and INCREDIBLY successful special and downstripped,
simplified version of SGML is the HTML. HTML defines the 'essence' or
'ontology' of a website. It is this 'ontology' which allows browser like
MS-Explorer or Netscape etc. to represent any 'expression in time an
place' - a web-site - on your computer. When you look at a website in
text-format, you can 'see' essence and expression in one document, using
ASCII-format, and behind ASCII there is finally a sequence of 0 and 1
(on/off, high/low)

XML - Extended markup language - to which Denham and I refered, is
somewhere between SGML and HTML.

You see, in this technology, changing our world, there is a lot of applied
philosophy. Interesting seems to me, that such application became only
possible after leaving any judgement of good or evil of a philosophy
behind. So the creativity which is set free is not wasted in wars of
contradiction but bundled in the constructive invention of something never
thought of, although not new at all.

I am really interested to hear your opinion on this. Does this answer your
question? Does this answer satisfy you? What do you think?

Liebe Gruesse,


-- (Winfried und Kirstin Dressler)

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