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Comments on the Feature Synopsis for OWL Lite and OWL

From: Julian C. Lander <jclander@mitre.org>
Date: Fri, 04 Oct 2002 13:01:37 -0400
Message-ID: <3D9DC971.83DF4CCE@mitre.org>
To: public-webont-comments@w3.org
I have just read the "Feature Synopsis for OWN Lite and OWL"
in its W3C Working Draft dated 29 July 2002 at the URL
http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD-owl-features-20020729/. I wanted
to include some editorial comments that may be useful in revisions
for the next version of this document. (The document is very
helpful, but there are a few places where it is unclear
or where the English is difficult to understand.)

One general comment is about your choice of property names.
You often use property names of the form hasX with values
from the class appropriate for X. For example, the hasOffspring
property would have values in the class Persons or People. 
To me, as a native speaker of American English, the property
hasX should be single-valued and Boolean. Unfortunately, I find
it difficult to suggest a good replacement property name. The
best I can do is Xof, which may be difficult to read and which 
is inconsistent with other property names in the paper.

In section 3.2, in the description of differentIndividualFrom,
in the sentence "From this, the reasoner can deduce that Frank
and Deborah refer to two unique individuals," the term
"unique" should be replaced by the term "distinct." Unless I
misunderstand the concept, stating that Deborah and Frank and
different from each other is consistent with stating that 
Deborah is the same individual as DeborahMcGuinness. If
Deborah is the same individual as Deborah McGuinness,
Deborah is not unique, even though Deborah is different
from Frank.

In section 3.3, the example given for someValuesFrom apparently 
requires knowledge of semantic webs. Perhaps a more familiar
example would be appropriate. One possibility is to use the
class of CatOwners with the property hasPet. Presumably, the
class CatOwners would have a someValuesFrom restriction on
the property hasPet in that some value of the hasPet property
would be of the class Cat.

In section 3.4, under maxCardinality, the sentence "From this
a reasoner can deduce that individual instances of the class
UnitedStatesCitizens may not be related to two or more distinct
individuals through the hasRegisteredVoting State property."
You may want to change it to read "...two or more distinct 
individuals of the class State...." It took me at least three
readings to understand that "two or more distinct individuals"
referred to members of the class States and not members of
the class UnitedStatesCitizens, particularly because one of
the colloquial meanings of "individual" in American English
is "person."

I hope that these comments are helpful. If they are not,
please excuse me for wasting your time.

Julian C. Lander

Julian C. Lander
The MITRE Corporation
Received on Friday, 4 October 2002 13:01:46 UTC

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