Subject: Re: Knowledge classification systems
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 18 Sep 2002 17:59:36 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Don Geddis
| I believe you were suggesting that (something like) the Dewey system be used
| for online materials as well, so I was wondering how this works in practice
| for non-physical items.

  My vision, if that is what it is, is that you would navigate the Dewey space
  more or less visually and locate things according as you believe they would
  be classified.  Multiple classifications would never be a problem online.

| I would imagine that "cross-classification" is relatively rare.

  Yes, but not because of the clasisfication, but because most publishers try
  to limit the scope of their published material.  It is considered bad from
  to publish a book about programming languages and spend half of it on the
  psychological aspects of temporal reasoning.

| Even for your example, is "for women" a section underneath the
| sports/basketball hierarchy?

  No, it is a secondary table of "tags".  You can search for these tags in
  almost all electronic library systems.  E.g., there are geographical codes
  that make it possible to search for anything that is published about some
  small place, if it has been suitably classified.

| How natural would it be to allow me to look at an index of all "for women"
| books, whether they fall under sports or not?

  How natural?  On a scale from 0 through 9, probably around 7.  :)

| It isn't obvious to me that existing classifications like the Dewey Decimal
| System are intended for this kind of application.

  I believe something very much like Dewey would be an essential part of a
  better web, but I sense somehow that you think I want to get rid of all
  other approaches and classifications.  Why is this?  I have not given you
  any conscious indication of such a desire, which is in fact contrary to what
  I would want to see.

Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.