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Re: Presentation Syntax - why?

From: Jonathan Borden <jonathan@openhealth.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 10:57:34 -0400
Message-ID: <068c01c335a9$f68348d0$b6f5d3ce@svhs.local>
To: "Drew McDermott" <drew.mcdermott@yale.edu>, <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>

Drew McDermott wrote:
> I've taken a quick look at the OWL XML presentation syntax at
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/NOTE-owl-xmlsyntax-20030611/
> and it actually doesn't look that different from the RDF/XML syntax.
> It would be useful if the document contained an appendix listing the
> differences.  That might clarify why it was felt necessary to produce
> an alternative XML serialization.

He he, producing alternate XML syntaxes for RDF has been somewhat of a sport

It is generally possible to produce a 'better' specific concrete syntax for
a given abstract syntax than to adopt a generic syntax (such as XML in
general, or RDF/XML in specific -- witness N3 for example). In the case of
OWL, it is interesting that the XML presentation syntax is fairly close to
the RDF/XML syntax ... any 'improvement' in the syntax for classe
descriptions seems to be offset by a less readable syntax for individual

One of the (good) reasons that it has been felt necessary to produce an XML
presentation syntax is that it does not seem possible to write an XML Schema
for generic RDF/XML -- and hence it would not seem possible to write an XML
Schema for OWL/RDF/XML -- one that gives a thumbs up for all good OWL
documents and a thumbs down for all invalid OWL/RDF/XML documents.

For those folks who might want to use XML Schema aware editors to author
OWL, this is a problem, hence the need for an OWL XML Syntax that can be
described by an XML Schema.

I've pointed out that this difficulty with XML Schema (for RDF) is not a
problem with RELAXNG for RDF (and hence for OWL), but there may be specific
reasons why folks want/need to work with XML Schema aware editors.

Received on Wednesday, 18 June 2003 10:57:41 UTC

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