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ALL: philosophy of SWBPD (was Re: [OPEN] and/or [PORT] : a practical question)

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 17:34:06 -0500
Message-Id: <p06020404bc87bbd0f63a@[]>
To: Christopher Welty <welty@us.ibm.com>, Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Cc: Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>, Ian Horrocks <horrocks@cs.man.ac.uk>, SWBPD <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>, public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org
At 12:59 -0500 3/24/04, Christopher Welty wrote:
Jeremy wrote on 03/24/2004 04:24:16 AM:

>  Yes, like Bernard, I have been thinking more about this, and about Ian's
>  insistence in WebOnt that classes-and-instances was almost always raised by
>  people wanting to mismodel their world. (cc Ian, wondering if I have learnt
>  my lessons well!, or misrepresented him)

Well, "mismodelling their world" is not limited to classes as 
instances. I find it rather dangerous to make such statements. 
 People use subclass incorrectly, too, but that wasn't a reason to 
remove that axiom from OWL DL.  People just mismodel their worlds, I 
hope we can offer some advice on both how to do some of these things 
and how NOT to do it.


See, it's this kind of converse that makes me nervous -- somehow the 
idea that the people who prefer separating class from instance (as 
Ian is quoted by Jeremy) are right and those who prefer to use 
metamodeling (like Guus as quoted to WOWG. I don't have time to dig 
up the mail) are somehow mismodeling.  This is nonsense -- did 
everyone who ever used Protege before the OWL plug-in get it "wrong" 
in some sense??  Yet protege, like many other systems, makes wide use 
of the extremely useful feature of treating classes as instances - 
they just don't export that when you use the OWL plugin in DL mode 
(as I understand it).
  My big fear for this WG is that we're going to somehow "endorse" 
certain kinds of representation and say other folks are somehow 
making errors - yet on the web, different people with different 
opinions about representation will all need to use the languages, we 
must be careful not to be like the "soup nazi"s in the Seinfeld show 
[1] who get to dictate who gets their soup and who doesn't based on 
some set of rules that no one else understands...
  Seriously, I think the BPD will do a great service if we explain the 
issues and the advantages and disadvantages of various 
representations - but if we start to dictate one way or the other as 
"correct" then we will be doing a disservice to the community and 
will not be helping to deploy the semantic web.

[1] http://members.aol.com/rynocub/soupnazi.htm
Professor James Hendler			  http://www.cs.umd.edu/users/hendler 
Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies	  301-405-2696
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.	  301-405-6707 (Fax)
Univ of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742	  240-277-3388 (Cell)
Received on Thursday, 25 March 2004 01:51:58 EST

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