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"OWL 2 IRI vocabulary" considered harmful (was Re: Occurrences of "OWL 2 Full" in our documents)

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2009 09:14:34 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <20090410.091434.193461191.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
To: schneid@fzi.de
Cc: public-owl-wg@w3.org
From: "Michael Schneider" <schneid@fzi.de>
Subject: RE: Occurrences of "OWL 2 Full" in our documents
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2009 11:03:00 +0200

[...]

>>3/ Moderate - "OWL 2 vocabulary" is not a phrase that I would use here,
>>without some special preparation, even though "OWL vocabulary" was used
>>in S&AS.
>>
>>In particular I would not go along with
>>   The OWL 2 vocabulary is a set of IRIs [RFC 3987], which occur in the
>>   sets of RDF triples that build the RDF encodings of all the OWL 2
>>   language constructs [OWL 2 RDF Mapping].
>>
>>I suggest instead using "OWL 2 RDF-graph vocabulary", I guess, although
>>that is rather pedantic, particularly as it would be a frequently used
>>term.  To reduce the level of pedantery the document could define "OWL 2
>>RDF-graph vocabulary" and then say "(commonly abbreviated in this
>>document to ''OWL 2 vocabulary'')".
> 
> Having a more distinguishing name instead of just "vocabulary" is a good idea, IMO,
> in order to avoid, e.g., confusion with the vocabularies of the Functional Syntax
> or the OWL/XML syntax. I can see, however, a few slight issues with the concrete 
> suggestion "RDF-graph vocabulary". 
> 
> First, I would then like to generally call the vocabularies of other RDF semantics 
> in the way "XXX RDF-graph vocabulary" as well. But this would sound strange for 
> XXX := "RDF(S)".
> 
> So I thought "graph vocabulary" might be good. But then, I remembered that the RDF Semantics
> (in Section 0.3) already talks about a "vocabulary of a graph" (in contrast to a vocabulary
> of an interpretation), and I have called this a "graph vocabulary" myself several times
> in the past.
> 
> But, after all, isn't the most distinguishing aspect of the RDF/RDFS/OWL 1/2 vocabularies 
> that they consist of URI/IRIs? They don't have much to do with RDF graphs. So why not 
> simply call them "IRI vocabularies"? This seems to at least avoid confusion with our
> other syntaxes.

I don't think that "IRI vocabulary" works at all.  After all, names of
classes, etc., in OWL 2 are IRIs, so "IRI vocabulary" is even more
confusing than just "vocabulary".  The most important aspect of the
vocabulary that is given special meaning in the RDF-based semantics is
that it is vocabulary in the RDF graph encoding for OWL 2 that is given
meaning by the RDF-based semantics, so "RDF" should be somewhere in the
term itself.

[...]

peter
Received on Friday, 10 April 2009 13:14:48 GMT

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