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Review of Manchester Syntax Document

From: Mike Smith <msmith@clarkparsia.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 16:29:28 -0400
Message-ID: <42485a40903311329x389b7bf4tfa35cfe39ccfaaed@mail.gmail.com>
To: W3C OWL Working Group <public-owl-wg@w3.org>
Below are my review comments for the Manchester Syntax document.  In
addition to these comments, I made a single trivial spelling
adjustment (diff at [1]).  Of the comments below, I believe (1) and
(11) are most significant.

1) Throughout the document the Manchester syntax is described as a
syntax for "OWL 2 DL ontologies".  It is unclear why it is restricted
to OWL 2 DL and could not be used to serialize OWL 2 ontologies which
do not satisfy the DL constraints in SS&FS.

2) The description of whitespace in the grammer (section 2 para 4)
permits but does not require whitespace between the quotedString and
the '@..' of abbreviatedRDFTextLiterals.  While (I don't think) that
this prevents parsing, I believe it was unintended (based on the
restriction being present on typedLiteral) and that
abbreviatedRDFTextLiteral should be added to the list of non-terminals
in which whitespace is not allowed.

3) The BNF for floatingPointLiteral , exponent , decimalLiteral , and
integerLiteral permit leading zeros.  Since nonNegativeInteger is
already defined, leading zeros could be prevented.  It is not clear
allowing them is beneficial.

4) The BNF for dataAtomic should use a literalList.

5) The narrative text in section 2.3 includes nonterminals that are
not styled as such.

6) In the first bulleted condition of section 2.6 reference
restrictions on the use of reserved vocabulary.  These restrictions
apply to all OWL 2 ontologies, not just OWL 2 DL ontologies.

7) The BNF for atomic should use an individualList

8) The HasKey axiom in the example ontology has description and
property inverted.

9) The entry for HasKey axioms in section 4.2 and the manchester form
of the axiom do not reflect recent changes to the HasKey functional
syntax (disambiguating object and data properties).

10) The syntax would be more consistently styled if HasKey axioms were
part of a class frame and not in the 'misc' group.

11) There are at least two classes of axioms that cannot be expressed
in the frame syntax as presented:
a) Class axioms where the first argument is not a named class e.g.,
SubClassOf( ObjectIntersectionOf(A B) C )
b) Object property axioms where the first argument is an
InverseObjectProperty e.g., SubPropertyOf( InverseObjectProperty(p)
q).  This problem also applies to sub object property chains where the
super property is an InverseObjectProperty.

Mike Smith

Clark & Parsia

[1] http://www.w3.org/2007/OWL/wiki/index.php?title=ManchesterSyntax&diff=21058&oldid=21013
Received on Tuesday, 31 March 2009 20:30:05 GMT

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