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Re: A comment on the Primer draft, part 1 Introduction

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 10:44:31 +0000
Message-Id: <A51C55A3-CD88-4C4E-A43D-F9BABC606EC4@cs.man.ac.uk>
To: OWL Working Group WG <public-owl-wg@w3.org>

Thanks for the comment.

On 23 Jan 2008, at 10:11, Ivan Herman wrote:

> Bijan, Peter,
>
> a small comment on
>
> http://webont.org/owl/documents/primer.html
>
> The current document says:
>
> [[[
[snip]
> t is easy to conceptualize inference in terms of graph structure  
> manipulation.
>
> In contrast, OWL allows for -- and encourages -- operations that  
> are not rooted so directly in the evident structure of an ontology.
> ]]]
>
> I am not sure how to reconcile this paragraph with our constituency  
> using RDFS plus one of the very simple fragments of OWL1.1 (say,  
> DLP). For those users the last sentence may not be really true;  
> their modus of operation is certainly using RDFS, explicit graph  
> structure, triplets, and direct structure statements (eg, stating  
> that a specific FOAF property is inverse functional in defining FOAF).

I agree, but that becomes a way to characterize (some) fragments. The  
contrast in perspectives (or rather, there *being* two perspectives)  
is important.

> I know there is an open issue somewhere down in the document on how  
> to address fragments in general, and I am not sure what your  
> thoughts on that issue is. But we should avoid creating a possible  
> misunderstanding in an introductory paragraph...
>
> It may be as simple as saying that in the case of more complex  
> ontologies "OWL allows for -- and encourages --" etc. I am not 100%  
> sure either.

Bit tricky because an ontology doesn't have to be complex (consider  
the Oedipus example). One could work on it this when talking about  
fragments, or one could point out (in the guide) that lots of things  
are simple.

One could try other weasel words ("In the full langauge" etc.).  
However, I tend to worry about this sort of hedging in the intro  
overview. While, to a certain extent, I accept the slogan: "Don't  
write to be understood; write so as to not be misunderstood". The  
problem is that you can over optimize for "not being misunderstood".

It's definitely worth keeping in mind, though, and I'll look for  
places where we can compensate.

Cheers,
Bijan.
Received on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 10:42:45 GMT

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