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Re: Calling a spade a spade, and a key a key

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2002 15:55:00 -0500
Message-Id: <200212132055.gBDKt0n28225@wadimousa.hawke.org>
To: Bob MacGregor <macgregor@ISI.EDU>
cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org


> Sandro Hawke just posted a nice exposition of an RDF problem
> that contained the following text:
> 
> > >The first is a description of a web page and the second is a
> > >description of the W3C.   They are each unambiguously identified, but
> > >different reverse-functional properties are used.
> 
> The phrase "reverse-function" property refers to what are more
> commonly know as "keys".  The OWL spec uses the term
> "inverseFunctional" in place of the term (non-compound) "key" to
> describe an RDF property that serves as a key for instances
> belonging to the domain of that property.  Within the small community
> of description logic developers, the equivalence of "inverseFunctional"
> and "key" are well understood.  Outside of that community, relatively
> few individuals will figure out this mapping until someone schools
> them in the meaning of the arcane OWL terminology.
> 
> The fact that OWL omits the notion of a compound key from its
> spec is a major oversight.  The fact that they omit the term "key" from the
> spec is also unfortunate.  This kind of disregard for common modelling
> practices will retard the acceptance of RDF by a larger community.  We
> can partially overcome the obstacles imposed by OWL by adopting
> conventional terminology in our own correspondence, briefings, etc.

I meant to use the OWL term.   I kind of prefered the DAML+OIL term
(UnambiguousProperty), myself.  But I see your point.   You might want
to raise the issue on public-webont-comments@w3.org, so you can be
sure the WebOnt group will read it and respond.

   -- sandro
Received on Friday, 13 December 2002 15:56:15 GMT

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