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Re: Why is "Web Ontology Language" Called "OWL"?

From: Thomas B. Passin <tpassin@comcast.net>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 23:46:45 -0400
To: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
Message-id: <00b301c22ae9$12e43f10$fe193044@tbp1>

[I wrote]

> >>  > Just wondering how it came to be called OWL when the obvious acronym
> >>  > would
> >>  > be "WOL"?
> >>

[Jim Hendler]

> So far our group has been using the phrase "The Web Ontology Language
> OWL" to put off the (likely) inevitable day when we'll have to move
> to "Ontology Web Language"
>

I have to agree that "OWL" is much better that "WOL" would be.  Maybe it
does not have to stand for anything else?

> DAML+OIL is a W3C note that was created by a small group of ontology
> researchers. It has done quite well as a web language, and thus the
> Web Ontology Working group was created with a charter to create a
> language that would only deviate from DAML+OIL when there was
> significant consensus that we had an improvement over that language.
> To that end, we are currently working on publishing several working
> drafts that represent the current state of our thinking -- these will
> include a short feature overview, a reference document that shows the
> current syntax based on the daml+oil document with pointers to open
> issues from our issues list.  A third document is a new "abstract
> syntax" document that may make it easier for implementors who want to
> explore other syntaxes than RDF/XML to map into the normative RDF/XML
> syntax.
>

Thanks for your response.  I have in fact been reading the Requirements and
the Issues, so I had seen them already.  From the Requirements, it seems to
me that there are quite a few items that go beyond what is in DAML+OIL, such
as digital signatures, the requirements for committing to partial
ontologies, and string manipulation and pattern matching.  It is clear to me
how such capabilties will help tune up DAML+OIL to suit the Semantic Web
better, but it is not clear to me (as a non-expert) how much DAML+OIL needs
to just be extended versus needing actual changes to existing parts.  I
imagine no one is too clear about that yet.  Is that right?

> Details can be found at the URI mentioned above, and current editor's
> drafts of the documents are linked to our last face to face page.
> We expect to release these three working drafts within a few weeks.
>

Oh, good.

Regards,

Tom P
Received on Saturday, 13 July 2002 23:47:18 GMT

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