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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
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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
luggage".

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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