Why FuXi?

So, I updated the cheeseshop entry for FuXi (should that be a capital 'X'?). This is the freeware I forced myself to write in order to better express myself (I don't always do a good job of that in person), and engage people, generally. It is very fast (so, I use it wherever I need to do any OWL/N3 inference ). I hope to port its serialize/parse capabilities to use (in addition): SWRL, the "new" Rule Interchange Format, and CycML (since this is trivial with 4Suite and OpenCyc is, well, "open")

I host it on Google Code because I like their combined service: um, it's free, the use of Subversion, a mailing list component, a Wiki, and other community services. In addition, I can synchronize my license(s) - in this case Fuxi's license is bare-bones BSD (I wonder if I should switch to an Apache license?). I link my cheeseshop entry to the Google Code page, and this is the primary "entry point" for package management. Cheeseshop + easyinstall + Python = very painless. I'm planning on setting up triclops this way (a WSGI-based SPARQL service).

Update: I added a google group for Fuxi: All discussion on Fuxi

Doing this brought me back to the question of why I gave this piece of software a name (see: origin) which conventional wisdom might consider "odd". I named it after a very coherent philosophy written a very loong time ago. Sometime in 2004, I started reading alot of text from that canon and then did some experimentation with 1) capturing the trigrams in OWL 2) generating SVG diagrams of them as an additional serialization. These were some of my older Copia entries.

The text is very mathematical, in fact it is based (almost entirely) on the binary numerical system. My formal "study" was Computer Engineering, which emphasized microprocessor theory (all of which is based on the binary numerical system as well), so my interest was not just "spiritual" but also very practical as I have come to a better appreciation of microprocessor theory many years after graduating from the University of Champaign Urbana.

My interest is also very historical. I believe that the theory that these text are based on represent some of the oldest human analysis of semiotics, binary numerics, psychology, and ontology. I have heard that the oldest ontology is purported to be Aristotle's, but I think this is very much mistaken if you consider the more mathematical aspects of "classic" semiotics. This was why I thought it would be interesting (at the time) to capture the trigrams in OWL (i.e., the formal theory) with annotations that consist of the better English translations of the original text (the Yijing) as well as SVG diagram exports.

This could serve as a good tool for older generations that study these text via conventional methods (consider the nature of the more oral traditions). Igbo tradition (my tradition) is very much "oral". I had thought at the time that a tool which relied on inference to interpret this ancient theory (for students of this ancient theory) would make for a good demonstration of "a" value proposition for Semantic Web technologies in a (very) unintended way. In many ways, the "philosophies" of open source/communities/standards echo a contemporary manifestation of this older way of life. It gives me some relief amidst a modern society obsessed with military expenditure (one of the oldest human archetypes).

However, at that point, my day job picked up. Even though I use Fuxi every day to do inference for reasons other than the original intent, I decided to keep the original name as motivation to (someday) go back to that particular "project", at least as a way to excercise my self-expression (which, as I said earlier, I normally do a poor job of this).

Chimezie Ogbuji

via Copia