RE: Knowledge Base Design

Subject: RE: Knowledge Base Design
From: "Jane Carnall" <jane -dot- carnall -at- digitalbridges -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 16:33:42 +0100

Shelly asked:
>Could someone please help me with designing Knowledge Bases. Would anyone
>know of any theories/guidelines?

Lurker writer responded:
>Have these people never heard of search engines, for crying out loud? I
>rarely post a question to this list because I respect the fact that you're
>all probably inundated like me, so I opt first for or some
>other search engine/archive to get the information I need.

May I point out that *learning to use* a search engine is a skill in itself?
(A librarian friend, sat down in front of the Web for the first time, asked
"Where's the index?") I recently found an English translation of a quote
from Sartre using nothing but google - but several other people who knew the
subject better than I did had failed. I knew how to use the search engine,
though I couldn't translate the French sentence. I learned by doing it, of
course - but I learned by searching on subjects that I *already* knew a
substantial amount about, so that I knew what additional keywords would
help, what sites were clearly useless, and so on. The better you are at
running websearches, the less information you need to get started. The less
experience you have, the *more* information you need to run a successful

Key in "Knowledge Base Design" in google, and the first 20 sites or so
convey nothing very helpful to a complete beginner. (I got a better lead on - six books, only two of them in print, but it might be possible
to get somewhere by searching on the author's names.) I know almost nothing
about knowledge base design, but if I were asking, I would have known to add
"I already searched on google and looked on Can someone
recommend a book or a website I can start from?" I know the grouches <g> on
this list very well by this time...

Finally, I find people asking naive questions considerably less distracting
than people complaining about the questions! (For one thing, the questions
are usually shorter and politer...)

Jane Carnall
Technical Writer, Digital Bridges, Scotland
Unless stated otherwise, these opinions are mine, and mine alone.


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Knowledge Base Design: From: Kapoor, Shelly

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