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URI of "this" ontology

From: David Allsopp <d.allsopp@signal.qinetiq.com>
Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2002 11:17:30 +0100
Message-ID: <3D4A5C3A.A612B13A@signal.qinetiq.com>
To: public-webont-comments@w3.org

Each OWL ontology has a URI, as used for the "import" feature. However,
there doesn't seem to be any mechanism to record that URI _within the
ontology document itself_. Of course, if the ontology is obtained over
the web using the URI, there is no issue, but if the ontology is cached
on disk, or obtained from a mirror, or otherwise used offline, it is not
possible to determine from the ontology itself what its URI should be.
This is already a problem with RDF - e.g. caching the RDF Schema itself
often requires hacks such as replacing all relative URI references with
absolute ones.

Is there such a mechanism? If not, can I suggest that in the Header
information, a field similar to "imports" be included to provide this
URI? Perhaps "uri" or "baseUri" would be appropriate. 

Applications could use this URI to correctly parse cached ontologies. If
the ontology is obtained directly using its URI, the internal URI could
be either ignored or used as a check to ensure the correct document was


<Ontology rdf:about="">
    <versionInfo>$Id: Overview.html,v 1.4 2002/07/31 19:44:09 henri Exp
    <rdfs:comment>An example ontology</rdfs:comment>
    <uri rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl/example.owl"/>
    <imports rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl"/>


David Allsopp

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Received on Friday, 2 August 2002 06:19:45 UTC

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