W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-owl-wg@w3.org > January 2008

Re: Primer review, part 1 Introduction, Orientation sections

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.rpi.edu>
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 12:16:54 -0500
Message-Id: <AD84376C-94A5-4428-88FB-5D8808F27274@cs.rpi.edu>
Cc: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>, Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>, OWL Working Group WG <public-owl-wg@w3.org>
To: Rinke Hoekstra <hoekstra@uva.nl>
yes, but remember this is a W3C working group - and thus the  
ownership and stability issues are very important - but, for  
example,  most of the other W3C members have had no input into the  
design of Man Syn - on the other hand, RDF/XML and now Turtle have  
gone through processes with open comments and significant buy-in - so  
AC members cannot complain about us using them.  Just as an example,  
I can't find a copyright statement in any of the documents -- so if  
someone cuts and pastes from our documents, they don't know what the  
legal status is (from the others, they will be bounc by W3C rules) -  
or if someone at Manchester decides to change the definition  
document, who gets to comment?
  If we were in a different, more researchy context (where, frankly,  
I wish a lot of this work was) I would have no problem with it - but  
we're not, and thus I take my AC role very seriously
  -Jim Hendler
   AC Rep, RPI

p.s. Some of you might note that sometimes I include that "AC rep"  
thing and sometimes not - again, I try to differentiate when I'm  
speaking for myself, and when I'm speaking for an organization that  
pays to be a member of the W3C.

On Jan 21, 2008, at 11:59 AM, Rinke Hoekstra wrote:

> I agree that the Manchester syntax is not as official as the  
> others, but both Protege and TopBraid Composer use it extensively.  
> In fact, I would not be surprised if many users are not even aware  
> of the more official syntaxes.
> -Rinke
> On 21 jan 2008, at 17:43, Jim Hendler wrote:
>> I would prefer Turtle (which has at least some status) to  
>> Manchester Syntax and/or OWL XML - let's at least add Turtle -  
>> it's easily mappable to RDF/XML but more readable - and it does  
>> have a recognized document behind it now as well as history of use  
>> in W3C SWA documents.  The Manchester syntax appears to be defined  
>> as the research results of a project called "Co-ode" which seems  
>> not to have any sort of imprimitur -- I would prefer we use Formal  
>> syntax, RDF/XML and Turtle if we're going to use more than one.
>>  -JH
>> On Jan 21, 2008, at 7:45 AM, Bijan Parsia wrote:
>>> Thanks for the feedback on our first draft. I take it that you do  
>>> like the technology perspective approach, at least in principle.
>>> On 21 Jan 2008, at 06:47, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
>>>> These comments are on the Primer document http://webont.org/owl/ 
>>>> documents/primer.html as accessed late night 1/20/2007. They are  
>>>> detailed comments on the Introduction an Orientation sections.  
>>>> Review of other sections will follow.
>>>> Summary:  There are a number of places where I think the  
>>>> descriptions don't adequately introduce OWL from the point of  
>>>> view of someone embedded in the technology described, which I  
>>>> think is important for drawing readers in. Ideally the  
>>>> orientations would make affirmative statements about why people  
>>>> coming from experiences with their technology might be  
>>>> interested in OWL, and what they should not expect to find.
>>> We need to take care to balance breath and depth. I believe we  
>>> can expect to "set the frame" adequately with this document, but  
>>> then we should hope that people are inspired by this section to  
>>> write more detailed perspectival discussions, or to go to lists,  
>>> etc.
>>> So some sense of how much more text you think is reasonable for  
>>> these intro sections would be good.
>>> Also, I think scattering some "NOTE FOR RDFERS: You can see blah  
>>> balh balh" through the example discussion could be more helpful  
>>> than adding a lot more upfront discussion.
>>> [snip]
>>>> Introduction doesn't mention important bits about design  
>>>> considerations for OWL - that it there are known algorithms that  
>>>> can give complete answers etc, and that is is designed to the  
>>>> most expressive language for which one can do this, and why it  
>>>> is important to aim for this.
>>> I'm not sure foregrounding this in this way is all that helpful.  
>>> I'd rather talk about "yes and no" answers along the way. I mean,  
>>> variable free syntax is an important design consideration as well  
>>> historically, but I don't see it's good to *foreground* that.
>>> [snip]
>>>> "both OWL and XML have an object oriented approach"
>>>> I don't consider OWL to be object oriented,
>>> This would seem to be a very much minority view.
>>>> and think this will confuse rather than help.
>>> Well, the point is for both XML and OOP sections are to say,  
>>> roughly, Yes we have classes and objects, but don't rely on your  
>>> understanding from other class/object pardigms. Actually, I think  
>>> it's less important to say *what* the differences are than to  
>>> make clear that there *are* radical differences. I.e., to "set  
>>> the frame". If we say, "Whoa they are radically different" and  
>>> the person doesn't get how, they are in a much better position to  
>>> ask questions than if we *don't* say that they are radically  
>>> different and they don't think to ask certain questions.
>>> In other words, I'd prefer that the fallback mode, in general, be  
>>> "self aware" confusion than "unknowing misunderstanding".
>>> [snip]
>>>> Database use does not imply negation as failure. It doesn't  
>>>> offer any support one way or another it seems to me,
>>> Again, this is not a particularly standard view. Canonically,  
>>> relational dbs make the CWA and NAF. Consider how aggregation works.
>>>> whereas OWL offers support for querying over information that is  
>>>> not explicit and not fully specified.
>>>> There is no mention of very important difference, namely that  
>>>> there are no integrity constraints in OWL.
>>> It's not clear to me that we should call this out as such, esp.  
>>> up front. I'd rather have a discussion at the QCRs.
>>> [snip]
>>>> I don't think this will reach typical database users. It is too  
>>>> theoretical. It needs to be more down to earth. Clearly there  
>>>> are very obvious differences - transactions, triggers,  
>>>> replications - a whole set of considerations that OWL does not  
>>>> deal with.
>>> Some of these are features of *systems* not the modeling  
>>> formalism. It'll probably help to make that distinction a bit,  
>>> though again, I'd prefer to be a bit subtler. Discussing ER  
>>> diagrams might be more useful.
>>> [snip]
>>>> Object-oriented Programming.
>>>> Again, focus on information completeness won't resonate with oo  
>>>> types. First they have to be told the "further stuff" and then  
>>>> why, despite this, they might be interested in OWL.
>>> I intend to stress the "Template" vs. "description" perspectives  
>>> (plus the lack of behavior). This will need to be synched more  
>>> with the XML and RDBMS discussions. The RDF discussion perhaps  
>>> should come last.
>>> In my discussions from people coming from XML/OOPy background,  
>>> this has been the most helpful for them.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Bijan.
>> "If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research,  
>> would it?." - Albert Einstein
>> Prof James Hendler				http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~hendler
>> Tetherless World Constellation Chair
>> Computer Science Dept
>> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY 12180
> -----------------------------------------------
> Drs. Rinke Hoekstra
> Email: hoekstra@uva.nl    Skype:  rinkehoekstra
> Phone: +31-20-5253499     Fax:   +31-20-5253495
> Web:   http://www.leibnizcenter.org/users/rinke
> Leibniz Center for Law,          Faculty of Law
> University of Amsterdam,            PO Box 1030
> 1000 BA  Amsterdam,             The Netherlands
> -----------------------------------------------

"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would  
it?." - Albert Einstein

Prof James Hendler				http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~hendler
Tetherless World Constellation Chair
Computer Science Dept
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY 12180
Received on Monday, 21 January 2008 17:17:38 UTC

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