Inheritance/defaulting of attributes

Matthew Fuchs matt at
Thu Oct 9 19:38:38 BST 1997

Yeah, but ontologies are semantics, and semantics isn't our bizness.  We do
syntax here.

Seriously though, despite having written my share of OO (and other) code, I'd
be very leery of anything that injects semantic notions into XML.  Whether
something is an ISA or HASA relationship may ultimately depend on the
applications point of view.  I.e., lion ISA animal, but lion also HASA
superclass, depending on whether you are in the semantics of the zoo domain or
the semantics of domain structures - and these can hopefully share the same

But all I really wanted to point out was that in eliminating a lot of SGML
cruft, we'd also eliminated some of the tricks people have used in the past to
finesse OO.


On Oct 9, 12:45pm, Paul Prescod wrote:
> Subject: Re: Inheritance/defaulting of attributes
> Matthew Fuchs wrote:
> > The parser would then interpolate <animal> tags around each <shark>
> > or <lion> tag, allowing the application to understand a relationship
> > not obvious in the document text.
> But a containment relationship does not imply an ISA relationship in
> most ontologies. I don't want to make a new subtree with lion and animal
> nodes. A lion in an animal would seem to me to mean "WAS EATEN BY" :).
> Rather, I want to have a node which can be interpreted as either a lion
> or an animal.


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