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Re: Comments on structural specification (was Re: document pubication schedule)

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2007 01:57:48 +0100
Message-Id: <D426B54D-D2C6-44D1-A118-201F37A53C83@cs.man.ac.uk>
Cc: public-owl-wg@w3.org
To: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.rpi.edu>

(It would be easier if you had made these fresh threads so we could  
collect the document discussion separate from the schedule  
discussion. Or you could have hung this off my [impr].)

Thanks for the reviews. I find them helpful. The more the merrier.

I have more detailed reply, but I want to point out a general  
perspective issue. The structural specification defines the language  
from a certain perspective. Jeremy sometimes calls this the "tree"  
view. This perspective has some advantages for certain classes of  
implementor (e.g., the OWL API and the KAON2 API map fairly closely  
into this document; even Jena has an "object oriented" view, I  
believe). It is also useful as a bridge to related languages and maps  
straightforwardly to an XML syntax (which is really nice for some  
less semantic web oriented applications of OWL, for making use of the  
XML tool chain, and for avoiding some grumbling from some XML heads).

Given that the Abstract Syntax view is a pretty embedded piece of the  
current OWL (not to mention OWL 1.1) infrastructure, I think it needs  
to be maintained. This does not mean that the current document is  
appropriate for any end user, but, just as with the model theory, it  
is not intended to be.

There has been some quite positive implementor feedback (e.g.,  
Matthew Horridge, who reimplemented the OWL API in the light of the  
structural specification and used it as a basis for Protege4). There  
are, of course, RDF based implementations (keying off the RDF mapping  
document); TopBraid Composer comes to mind.

End user documentation is very important, but so are good tools. So,  
I ask that when we consider the formal specifications, that we keep  
in mind the need to support implementors, language lawyers, and  
people trying to extend OWL or design new useful services.

Boris has a discussion of some of the issues he faced as an  
implementor in response to my [impr]:
	<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-owl-wg/2007Oct/0085.html>

Cheers,
Bijan.
Received on Tuesday, 23 October 2007 00:58:08 GMT

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