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Re: Namespaces -- Out of scope of OWL?

From: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hpl.hp.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2007 10:40:56 +0100
Message-ID: <46273928.2050802@hpl.hp.com>
To: Boris Motik <bmotik@cs.man.ac.uk>
CC: "'Turner, David'" <davidt@hp.com>, public-owl-dev@w3.org

Boris Motik wrote:
> Hello,
> One goal behind the design of a new textual syntax was to provide a parsable
> syntax. This is why we call the new syntax "functional-style syntax", and
> not "abstract syntax": the new syntax is quite concrete. 


I think it is helpful to have the division between the abstract parts, 
which any serialization of OWL needs to share, and the concrete parts, 
which are details of a serialization. The namespaces are a serialization 
detail. In particular, I would assume that qnames should be expanded to 
IRIs well before reaching the semantic parts of the spec.

OTOH, it helpful to be able to write down expressions corresponding to 
the abstract syntax.


> For this, namespaces seem to be really important; without them, any file
> would be just horribly difficult to read or edit. Therefore, we simply
> imported the XML style of defining and expanding namespaces. We did not
> believe that this would be difficult to implement: if you see an URI of the
> form "a:b", just replace "a" with the declared namespace. I did not quite
> understand your point with "amp"; could you please elaborate?
> Sincerely yours,
> 	Boris
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: public-owl-dev-request@w3.org [mailto:public-owl-dev-request@w3.org]
>> On Behalf Of Turner, David
>> Sent: 19 April 2007 10:02
>> To: public-owl-dev@w3.org
>> Subject: Namespaces -- Out of scope of OWL?
>> The OWL/1.0 abstract syntax is essentially silent on the subject of
>> QNames, namespaces and how to abbreviate URIs; I imagine this is because
>> they're a pretty thorny issue that's a bit implementation-specific.
>> The OWL/1.1 spec *does* have QNames etc, and includes namespace
>> declarations in the abstract syntax. I think it would be safer to remove
>> this and follow the OWL/1.0 path of leaving this up to implementors. The
>> treatment of names in OWL/1.1 is essentially exactly that of OWL/1.0
>> except that we use IRIs instead of URIs (as noted in OWL-concepts).
>> For example, if a user were to define 'amp' as a namespace prefix, they
>> may be surprised by the effects this has on certain bits of the XML
>> serialisation of their ontology.
>> Cheers,
>> Dave
>> --
>> Dave Turner  Cube T400, HP Labs Bristol, Filton Road, Bristol BS34 8QZ
>> davidt@hp.com          +44 117 3129104 (Work) +44 7962 811627 (Mobile)
>> Hewlett-Packard Limited. Registered No: 690597 England
>> Registered Office: Cain Road, Bracknell, Berks RG12 1HN

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Received on Thursday, 19 April 2007 09:41:34 UTC

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