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Re: [LC response] To Marco Colombetti

From: Marco Colombetti <colombet@elet.polimi.it>
Date: Thu, 07 May 2009 12:10:11 +0200
To: mak@aifb.uni-karlsruhe.de
Cc: public-owl-comments@w3.org
Message-ID: <web-23670736@elet.polimi.it>
Dear Markus,

thank you for your message. The action taken by the OWL WG 
is better than nothing, but I would have much preferred a 
terminology that is consistent with an established 
mathematical and philosophical tradition, which by the way 
is currently adopted throughout Computer Science, with the 
only exception of the OWL community.

My experience with students is that explaining the 
difference between a statement (as a syntactic entity), an 
axiom and a theorem is crucial for understanding 
ontologies and reasoning, and the fact that the official 
OWL terminology blurs these differences won't help.

Kindest regards,

Marco

On Wed, 6 May 2009 20:31:40 +0200
  Markus Krötzsch <mak@aifb.uni-karlsruhe.de> wrote:
> Dear Marco,
> 
> Thank you for your comment
> <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-owl-comments/2009May/0001.html>
> on the OWL 2 Web Ontology Language last call drafts.
> 
> The use of the term "Axiom" to mean, roughly, a closed 
>well-formed formula, is 
> now fairly standard in the OWL community. It is also 
>clearly defined. It seems 
> very unlikely that it would cause considerable confusion 
>in those with a 
> sophisticated background in logic, maths, or philosophy, 
>though it may cause 
> some distaste (the way that "ontology" does for some 
>philosophers). Finally, 
> it is deeply embedded in the current documents. Thus, 
>the working group has 
> determined that the alignment would not be worth the 
>costs of fully making the 
> change.
> 
> The working group has therefore decided not to make the 
>suggested change in 
> general, i.e. throughout all documents. However, most 
>actual uses of the term 
> "axiom" already refer to "statements that are asserted 
>to be true" (by an 
> ontology) and this use agrees with the general notion of 
>the term in 
> mathematics. We have now updated the OWL 2 Primer to 
>avoid all other uses of 
> "axiom." In particular, there is no more mentioning of 
>"derived axioms" in 
> Section 3. A diff of the changes is given at [1] and the 
>updated document is 
> at [2].
> 
> Please acknowledge receipt of this email to 
> <mailto:public-owl-comments@w3.org> (replying to this 
>email should suffice). 
> In your acknowledgment please let us know whether or not 
>you are satisfied 
> with the working group's response to your comment.
> 
> Regards,
> Markus Krötzsch
> on behalf of the W3C OWL Working Group
> 
> [1] 
> http://www.w3.org/2007/OWL/wiki/index.php?title=Primer&diff=23170&oldid=23169
> [2] http://www.w3.org/2007/OWL/wiki/Primer
> 
> 
> 
Received on Thursday, 7 May 2009 10:10:55 GMT

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