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Re: REQDOC: ontologies as resources

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: 14 Feb 2002 15:20:32 -0600
To: "Peter F. "Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Cc: www-webont-wg@w3.org
Message-Id: <1013721633.19852.25.camel@dirk>
On Thu, 2002-02-14 at 12:43, Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote:
> In a message expressing my concerns with the requirements document, I
> argued that it is premature to require that ontologies be resources, at
> least if by resource, we mean an RDF resource, i.e., elements of the domain
> of discourse that can be used just like any other element of the domain of
> discourse.

Hmm... it seems to me:

  1. Ontologies are documents
  2. documents are in the domain of discourse
	e.g. we can use the dublin core title
	property ala
	<http://www.w3.org/> dc:title "W3C".

  3. Ontologies are in the domain of discourse

I'm interested to know which part of that argument you'd disagree with.

Maybe 1. Ontologies aren't documents... but that seems just
like terminology; let's call documents that use our language
owl-documents. Then we end up with

  1. Owl-documents are documents.
  ... and so on, thru ...
  3. Owl-documents are in the domain of discourse.

Or maybe you disagree with 2. That would seem to
rule out the use of OWL for describing web documents;
i.e. our portal use case, and all use of dublin
core metadata to describe title/author/date etc.
of documents... the DMOZ directory goes out the
window... Adobe's XMP goes out the window.
In fact, I don't see how the result would
contribute to the Semantic Web at all.

> I happen to think that it is a bad idea for ontologies to be just the same
> as other objects because there may be unexpected consequences of this
> decision.

I sure hope so... kinda like altavista and google were unexpected
when the first few HTTP servers were put up.

>  For example, if we have ontologies referring to other
> ontologies, making ontologies just the same a other objects gets us more
> than halfway to being able to have conditional referring, which can have
> sever computational consequences.

Yes, that's what I would expect.
I don't see this as an argument against anything.


Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Thursday, 14 February 2002 16:20:12 UTC

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