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Re: Proposal for use of labels in Manchester Syntax ISSUE-146, ACTION-247

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2009 12:57:54 +0000
Message-Id: <04AC45AC-D725-4B2A-BF55-40C3438BC802@cs.man.ac.uk>
Cc: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>, public-owl-wg <public-owl-wg@w3.org>
To: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>

On 4 Feb 2009, at 12:13, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:

>>> I honestly don't see the point of the format without this.
>> Hmm.  Given that the format is already in use, I don't see how this
>> point of view can be sustained.
> Here is how I see the situation. The predominant use of the Manchester
> syntax currently is editing within protege. Within Protege what I call
> quotedLabels are consistently available for input and display. One of
> the largest communities that currently uses OWL is the biomedical
> ontology community. Within that community it is considered best
> practice to use opaque URIs as identifiers (e.g. OBO, MeSH, UMLS).
> People used to working with those ontologies in Protege uniformly work
> in views that use labels. The Manchester Syntax, as solely an exchange
> syntax, offers no additional benefit because there are other viable
> exchange syntaxes.

Well, Manchester syntax isn't solely an exchange syntax. Part of the  
point of documenting it was, well, to document it so tools can  
display things in a consistent way.

Surely the spec has value just for that.

> In order that it be worth having another syntax, it
> must bring some additional value.

You think it's adequate for cutting and pasting snippets of an  
ontology in email to have only an expression language and not a way  
to express axioms? That seems wrong. That, surely, is additional value.

> Historically that value has been
> that it is human readable and editable. It isn't if it can't be edited
> using human readable labels for entities.

Since it's not hard to do label stuff out of band with small  
adjustments to any (extensible) editor.

If the working group would reconsider making it rec track, then all  
this seems worth discussing. But if we don't reconsider that, I don't  
think it's worth innovating this way in-group. I mean, what does it  
buy us? Why *wouldn't* we Note it, even without handling this use case?*

Alternatively, I think that Manchester (and Peter) could simply make  
it a member submission. So, it's sort of hard to see the value in  
*not* doing it as a WG submission.


*Note, this isn't a threat. I still think it should be rec track and  
I'm mystified why it isn't. But I've not yet decided what to say  
about that. But, clearly, your proposal has some issues. If we are  
going to devote scarce WG time to fixing those issues then we should  
justify that effort. So, I think the bar for a new, somewhat complex,  
feature should be high.
Received on Wednesday, 4 February 2009 12:54:28 UTC

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