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Re: DAML/RDF: a semantics and 2 more syntaxes

From: Frank van Harmelen <Frank.van.Harmelen@cs.vu.nl>
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 00:54:16 +0000
Message-ID: <39E91C58.22F1DC02@cs.vu.nl>
CC: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
Dan Connolly wrote:

> Another [syntax, FvH] is something TimBL and I just made up recently:
>  [[[
>  Notation 3
>  This is not designed as an alternative to RDF's XML syntax which has
>  the fundamental advantage that it is in XML. This is an academic
>  excercise in language designed for a human-readable and scribblable
>  language.
>  A random name for a random new notation for RDF and logic. Aim: to
>  optimize expression of data and logic in the same language.
>  ]]]
>   -- Notation 3 -- Ideas about Web architecture
>   http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Notation3
>   Fri, 13 Oct 2000 05:56:13 GMT
> Here's a little example of it, patterned after daml-ex:
> ===========
> bind default <http://www.daml.org/2000/10/daml-ont/>
> <> a Ontology;
>   versionInfo "v1";
>   comment "fun with classes and properties";
>   imports <http://www.daml.org/2000/10/daml-ont>
> :Animal a Class;
>   label "Animal";
>   comment "illustrative"
> :Person a Class;
>   subClassOf :Animal;
>   restrictedBy [ onProperty :parent; toClass :Person ]

When designing OIL, we felt a similar need to have a "human-readable and scribblable language", instead of having to pass the RDF(S) syntax around (nice for parsers, not for email msgs:-). 

As a result, OIL has two syntaxes: the RDF(S) syntax (see http://www.ontoknowledge.org/oil/rdf-schema/),
and what we call the "presentation syntax". The above sketch from TBL and Dan is very similar in spirit (see http://www.ontoknowledge.org/oil/syntax/ for the OIL presentation syntax). 

In OIL, the above would read:

  class-def animal
  class-def person
    subclass-of animal
    slot-constraint parent value-type person  

The explanatory example of OIL in the OIL white paper (see again http://www.ontoknowledge.org/oil/syntax/) is in this presentation syntax. 

Human communication about ontologies will be as important as machine communication, so something like this will be needed, since we can't expect many people to be working with the RDF(S) syntax. 

Frank van Harmelen.
Frank.van.Harmelen@cs.vu.nl              http://www.cs.vu.nl/~frankh
Department of AI, Faculty of Sciences,  Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
de Boelelaan 1081a, 1081HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
tel (+31)-20-444 7731 fax&voicemail (+31)-20-8722806
Received on Saturday, 14 October 2000 19:52:33 UTC

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