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Re: LC: Opposing OWL/XML format

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.manchester.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 09:55:39 +0000
Cc: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>, W3C OWL Working Group <public-owl-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <F171A216-11AE-41CA-9BA8-877AD1F70542@cs.manchester.ac.uk>
To: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>

On 27 Jan 2009, at 09:33, Ivan Herman wrote:

> Hi Bijan,
> just some comments
> - My main message of the answer would emphasize the fact (which  
> actually
> the commenter refers to!) that the _only_ required exchange syntax is
> RDF/XML. Ie, if a tool or a user does not want to implement and/or use
> the OWL/XML syntax, then there is no harm done.

Sure. I was trying to address the motivation. They are arguing that  
pragmatically if there's OWL/XML out there, responsible developers  
will have to support it. Which is a weird argument, "We don't want it  
since it might be too successful".

> The OWL/XML syntax is,
> so to say, a cherry on the cake if people want to use it, much like  
> lot
> of people use Turtle for RDF instead of RDF/XML for various reasons.
> (The only danger for this line of thought is the possible answer that
> Turtle is not a recommendation. We may have, in our archives,  
> references
> we had on this very issue which led to the resolution of publishing
> OWL/XML as a rec and not as a note.)
> Ie, it is _not_ a burden on tool developers because they can ignore it
> if they want; _not_ a burden on the users because they can also ignore
> it if they want!

And not a burden because there are adequate tools available. Sure.

> - You also say
> [[[
> Furthermore, with GRDDL and with RIF (which has only an XML exchange
> syntax, afaik, with no RDF mapping) it seems that this semantic-web
> practice is not a trump. We can depart from it for good reason and we
> have, in this case, good reason.
> ]]]
> I do not think we should refer to RIF here, simply because the charter
> of RIF is very different. RIF explicitly has on its charter rule
> dialects that are not bound to RDF at all, (ie, not mappable on RDF).

I'm trying to counter the line that "semantic web practice/ 
architecture" requires exclusive exchange of triples (not even RDF/ 

Since RIF, or Chris Welty, is apparently arguing that the "semantic  
web" should have only one set of datatypes (thus we should dump some  
of ours in favor of RIF's), it seems RIF is part of the semantic web,  
but is not triple based.

I note that OWL seems to bear the brunt of conforming to everyone  
else's notion of what the semantic web demands :)

> This line of arguments would probably lead the discussion away from  
> the
> main issue... (I actually would have liked to have an RDF mapping of  
> the
> RDF/OWL specific part of RIF but the group ran out of steam...)

My only point is that there's no semantic web practice or  
architectural argument that prohibits non-directly triple based  

> GRDDL... well, if we had a 'standard' mapping from OWL/XML to RDF/XML
> via a GRDDL transformation then this could be a very good argument  
> here
> in favour of OWL/XML. And we may have that, right?:-)

Well, I think we do already :) But if you mean an XSLT, then we can do  
the wrapper thing quickly. Rees indicated that that wasn't acceptable!

Verra strange.

> - OWL 1 had the OWL/XML format published as a note. Are there  
> practical
> data and experiences among tool vendors and users on how widely that  
> was
> implemented and used?

It was not, to my knowledge, used at all. I investigated using it  
several times, but it had various problems from a usability  
perspective (including the comparative lack of XML Schema tools at the  
time and the hybrid frame/axiom syntax making things very complex to  
manipulate). Our current XML syntax does not have any of these problems.

> I must admit I do not know. But if those data were
> available and convincing, this could be much more important in this
> stage of the discussion than the technical arguments...

I also believe that the informative nature of it (and the way things  
were pimped at the time) weighed against it. I certainly made the  
decision not to support it in Swoop based on "anything informative is  
good to ignore". Plus, it wasn't giving the advantages you would want  
for it. The situation is different today.

It's hard to overstate how much more difficult the framebased view  
made things (at least for me). The kinds of manipulations I want to do  
are made very convoluted with out uniform top level structures. We  
have those now. After I get the Schema fully typed out, I will sent  
around some XQueries that do things like various sorts of  
modularization, metrics, etc.

Received on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 09:56:16 UTC

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