Vocab AND Ontology?
seaman at noao.edu
Tue Oct 9 09:44:08 PDT 2007
On Oct 9, 2007, at 9:02 AM, Ed Shaya wrote:
> Found 2 biggies. There is extended_sources but not:
> point_sources alt unresolved_sources.
We're losing ever more clarity. I thought this was to be a list of
astronomical (i.e., physical) objects and processes, not any and all
terms of empirical artifice. The same star may or may not be a point
source, depending only on the technology and point of view.
> Trouble already. Rob Olling, is in my office, and he insists that
> L_dwarfs and T_dwarfs are simply not stars. These are brown_dwarfs
> which are not stars. For the sake of simplicity, I can see leaving
> such things as stars; including neutron stars, white dwarfs etc.
> But, is this going to be acceptable to the IAU? The argument is
> beginning to filter out into the hallway.
Yes, yes - and Jupiter orbiting a brown dwarf would no longer be a
planet. A non-planet orbiting a non-star - certainly worthy of
publication, but likely not as a "sky transient event". These are
all delightful discussions for Watson and Crick's favorite table at
the Eagle. I doubt they'll win anybody a Nobel Prize™.
Any of Rick's previous vocabularies would have been useful for
VOEvent purposes. I doubt we'll have much need to report assertions
of set theory for follow-up observation.
I suggest again - let's start with the minimum list(s) needed to get
the ball rolling and to support the utilitarian pursuit of
astronomical science. By starting with the verbatim IAU Thesaurus we
avoid all issues of nuance and politics, we demonstrate proper
respect for earlier efforts, and we position IVOA as a natural
standard bearer to enhance the vocabularies. Rather than adding to
the Thesaurus, perhaps we should be considering renorming it into
separate sub-vocabularies. This will clarify the missing pieces
(e.g., GRBs) needed for pragmatic transient reporting and
I see Brian is agreeing with me - this is surely one of the warning
signs of the approaching apocalypse. Let me put it this way - I
would prefer a minimal ontology to an overstuffed vocabulary list.
More information about the semantics