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Comments on Primer and Structural Ref. Experiment

From: Rinke Hoekstra <hoekstra@uva.nl>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 16:14:41 +0100
Message-Id: <B2ABCD5B-547D-4331-BA89-0A9D8E700309@uva.nl>
To: OWL Working Group WG <public-owl-wg@w3.org>


Without getting into the nitty gritty details of syntax-usage, typos  
or matters of policy and continuity etc., some comments on these  

First off, I think the primer is great, and stands out from the 1.0  
guide for a number of reasons:

* The different syntaxes are great, and as far as I'm concerned: the  
more the merrier. (In one of our projects a partner was opposed to  
using OWL merely because of its verbose RDF/XML syntax, it took a lot  
of time to convince him otherwise)

* It has the right level of detail; it doesn't throw technical details  
into the face of a casual reader 'just interested to see what this OWL  
thing is all about', and also does not presume to be a reference  
document (which is .

* The species are all the way in the back, making sure that the reader  
(when he/she gets there) has at least some idea of the issues  
involved. (As far as I'm concerned this is one of the drawbacks of the  
1.0-style documentation, where the reader constantly has to be on his  
toes while reading, without really knowing why)

* The example domain is a major improvement over the wine-ontology  
example (sorry). The reason I feel this, is that the wine domain is  
quite complicated, and introduces all kinds of knowledge  
representation issues (e.g. individuals vs. classes in the species vs  
grapes discussion) which really get in the way of someone just getting  
to grips with the language. The family domain is much closer to home,  
and a proper toy domain (just like pizza's or animals). Though,  
admittedly, kinship can get very complex in some non-western cultures  

* And, last but not least: it's practically finished already.. great!

About the experimental structural reference, I think this set-up is an  
improvement as well:

* The OWL 1.0 Guide and Reference documents are very, very similar  
(see my earlier email about this [2]), where the current primer and  
reference are very different. Compared to the 1.0 reference document,  
the experimental structural reference is at about the same level of  

* I believe the current structural syntax-document is already the  
major reference for most people interested in OWL 1.1: it already goes  
beyond a mere syntax specification, and adds a lot of information one  
would expect a reference to provide.

* The new structure is an improvement over the old one (and Bijan, to  
answer your question, I prefer the "topically" grouped sections of the  
class expressions bit)

* If people are really keen about having separate 'descriptive' and  
'formal' syntax specifications, we could provide a more formal syntax  
document either by hiding information (css/javascript) or by creating  
a new document.

* The hide/show mechanism could be used to create alternative indexes  
as well (topical vs. syntax-oriented etc.)


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family#Kinship_terminology
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-owl-wg/2007Dec/0099.html
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
Received on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 15:14:58 UTC

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