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Re: A thought on fragments and rec-track

From: Vojtech Svatek <Svatek@vse.cz>
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008 08:39:32 +0100
To: public-owl-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFB8DA8BDB.14A7DDFC-ONC12573F0.00272663-C12573F0.002A13E6@kotelna.vse.cz>

Dear all,

The first para of Carsten's message (copied below), though probably not
understood as most important by himself and most of the audience, inspired
me to a general comment. Sorry if someone understands it as completely

I joint the WG, and in fact, W3C activities in general, quite recently, in
November I guess. My background is quite broad, and can be found on the
wiki, but wrt. the WG focus, I could say that I have experience with
developing ontologies in various ontology languages for several years...
and thus assumed it might make sense for me to look (and perhaps give a
hand a bit) into the kitchen where the presumably most prominent language
of the future years would be cooked.
However, I now see myself as complete outsider, as the group really seems
to (almost) solely deal with the issues of logical (DL) semantics and RDF
serialisation. As I am neither a logician nor a web engineer, I often get
lost, and it would cost me an enormous effort to be able to closely follow
the conversation.

Correct me if I am wrong, but my intuitive understanding of the main
aspects of a web ontology language has always been:
1) MODELLING: the language serves to express real ontologies with some
content and structure
2) WEB ENGINEERING: the language has to be shared over the web environment
3) LOGICS: the language should allow for formal inferencing.

99% of the disucssions I so far saw on the mailing list, apart from WG
management issues, dealt with aspects 2), 3), and their possible clashes.
I am actually pretty sure that even many people who primarily act on behalf
2) and 3) have a solid ontology engineering background and experience from
large applicative projects. Is it intentional that the aspect 1) is not
openly discussed?

What I miss in the discussion therefore is, e.g.:
- discussion on empirical polls on which OWL constructs are used in
practice to what degree, and what the reasons for it are
- more examples (esp. recurring patterns) from *real* ontologies that are
meant to be seriously used (rather than toy logical excercises - as pure
logics allows to invent a counter-argument to almost any kind of
argument...) demonstrating that a certain language design choice is really

At the moment, I am a bit frustrated by the feeling that the attitude of
the WG to the mass of potential OWL ontology engineers is just: "We'll have
to teach them how to use (our style of) logics properly." Shouldn't the
flow be a bit more bi-directional? (In a bit sharper a tone - sure, it is
easier to stay at the idiosyncratic level...)

I really wonder if there are any people in the WG who share my concerns, or
if it I perhaps missed some important point.

Best regards

Vojtech Svatek, University of Economics, Prague
Nam.W.Churchilla 4, 13067 Praha 3, CZECH REPUBLIC
phone: +420 224095495, e-mail: svatek@vse.cz
web: http://nb.vse.cz/~svatek

public-owl-wg-request@w3.org napsal dne 14.02.2008 08:55:28:

> Dear WG,
> yesterday's discussion on fragments and rec-track showed once more
> that, simplifying a lot, the WG is split into two groups. Let's call
> them the RDF group and the DL group. Each of them has its own view and
> valid arguments that support it. I believe that neither the WG nor the
> two groups benefit from a confrontative way of dealing with this
> situation.  Instead, we should try to have peaceful coexistence
> whenever possible. Here is a simple way how this could be achieved for
> the fragments/rec-track issue:
Received on Friday, 15 February 2008 07:39:58 GMT

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