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Subject: Re: "Ontology" means what?
From: Ronald Bourret <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:General discussion of Extensible Markup Language <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 22 Mar 1999 12:54:09 +0100

text/plain (19 lines)

Roger Costello wrote:

> Can someone tell me what this word "ontology" means with regards to
> XML?

I'm sure the linguists or information-modelling people can give you a more
precise definition, but an ontology is essentially a collection of words
with agreed-upon meanings, usually about a single subject.  For example, an
ontology about airline flights might agree to use the term "baggage limit"
rather than "total allowable baggage weight" or "allowed weight of

In XML terms -- there is no formal definition -- this would translate to a
DTD and any supporting documentation needed to get everybody to agree on
just what a given tag and its contents mean.  (For example, BaggageLimit is
an integer representing the weight in kilos of checked baggage for an
individual passenger.)

-- Ron Bourret

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