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Re: Primer

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 18:22:43 +0000
Message-Id: <361155C2-AFE6-40C5-956B-FC68998089B7@cs.man.ac.uk>
Cc: "'Web Ontology Language \(\(OWL\)\) Working Group WG'" <public-owl-wg@w3.org>
To: <conrad.bock@nist.gov>

Conrad,

Thanks for the feedback. I'd like to take one point out of order:

> I don't think the burden should be
>   to comment on this proposed document, but to comment on OWL 1.

In general, WG members have an obligation to review credible  
proposals, esp. on parts they care about. So, actually, there was an  
appropriate burden on you, to the degree that you're interested in  
these matters, to review our proposal. I put background and  
discussion in:
	http://www.w3.org/2007/OWL/wiki/ 
Experiments_with_documents#Background_on_the_Proposal

That section has some comments that apply even more strongly to your  
comment, "it would be better to start with the OWL 1 documents and  
merge them to reduce redundancy, update for new features, and make  
corrections and clarifications,". This is a huge amount of work;  
more, I judge, than simply refreshing the documents "in place"; and  
certainly more, to reach the same level of quality, as my proposal.

Additionally, it doesn't seem to achieve seems to be an important  
goal for you:

> To users OWL 1.1 is a release with some
>   additional expressiveness.  It's not a major overhaul.  The
>   documentation should reflect that.


Three points:
	*I believe that most future users of OWL are new users, as I believe  
the OWL community will continue to grow. So the only docs they'll  
know are our docs.
	*I think users have no problem distinguishing between "a major  
overhaul" of the documentation and a major overhaul of the language.  
As I said on the discussion page: I've never heard otherwise before.  
So some pointers to cases would be helpful.
	*Your proposal seems to create as much user visible upheaval as new  
docs (esp. merging).

If you think that my proposal as it is developing will lead to  
significantly worse documents, I encourage you to develop your  
comment into a more detail proposal. I also welcome additional  
feedback on my proposal. As your most used prior document was the  
Reference, I suggest you examine the experimental restructuring of  
the syntax spec:
	http://www.w3.org/2007/OWL/wiki/ 
Experiments_with_documents#Description.2FReference

[snip]

Thanks for pointing to the parts of the reference you found most  
valuable. I'll continue to study them.

>   The buttons for syntax choice are very cool.

Thanks.

>   We need to ensure the
>   document prints properly,

They will.

> perhaps will all the syntaxes by default,

It's unclear to me which is better as default. I assume we'll get  
more feedback.

>   because folks printing things out for travel will probably not  
> realize
>   they need to set the buttons first.
>
>   Section 2.1:
[snip]

Thanks for this feedback. Some of it is already intended (e.g.,  
classification). I'm not sure about centering on expressiveness as a  
concept, esp. if we get into relative comparisons of expressiveness.  
For example, I don't like how the current draft talks about OWL as  
being "more flexible" than relational schemas. I think setting this  
up oppositionally like that, esp. when we are dealing with interest  
relative and context sensitive values (yes, the relational calculus  
can't express disjunction in the data, but OWL can't express  
integrity constraints, and most databases include turing complete  
langauges). Instead, I prefer to focus on differences and affordances  
and complimentary benefits. It's much better, I think, to send  
someone away from the primer *understanding* what OWL can and can not  
do well, even if that means they recognize that OWL's not for them,  
then to make them feel put upon for their choice of technology.

Cheers,
Bijan.
Received on Saturday, 19 January 2008 18:23:07 GMT

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