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Re: new issue? should OWL provide synonyms for RDF and RDFS objects

From: Jeff Heflin <heflin@cse.lehigh.edu>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 17:14:45 -0400
Message-ID: <3D41BBC5.C0F29B68@cse.lehigh.edu>
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
CC: www-webont-wg@w3.org

I find the OWL synonyms quite useful. It eases the burden of users on
keeping straight which names come from where. It's just plain silly that
Property is the rdf namespace but Class is in the rdfs namespace. Then
we want to add new things in the daml namespace, and what about all the
other namespaces for the layers that come after OWL? How is a user (or
tool builder) supposed to keep all of this straight?

In the telecon, someone said that having the synonyms might be setting a
bad precedent but I disagree. I frequently develop applications that
have multiple levels of ontology imports, and have used synonym features
for the most common concepts so users don't have to remember what comes
from where. For example,I have CS Department Ontology [1] that extends a
University ontology [2] that extends a General ontology [3] that extends
a Base ontology [4]. The CS Department ontology has many synonyms (e.g.,
Person) for things originally defined in the General ontology. I believe
the Semantic Web will end up consisting of lots of tiny interlinked
ontologies and that the imports chain could get quite long. With
synonyms, the user has less to remember. Therefore, I think providing
synonyms for RDF classes would be a good precedent (as long as they
truly have the same meaning).


[1] http://www.cs.umd.edu/projects/plus/DAML/onts/cs1.1.daml
[2] http://www.cs.umd.edu/projects/plus/DAML/onts/univ1.0.daml
[3] http://www.cs.umd.edu/projects/plus/DAML/onts/general1.0.daml
[4] http://www.cs.umd.edu/projects/plus/DAML/onts/base1.0.daml

"Peter F. Patel-Schneider" wrote:
> TITLE:          should OWL provide synonyms for RDF and RDFS objects
> DESCRIPTION:    The DAML+OIL official definition contains 12 sameXxxAs
>                 statements (see below) that provide daml: synonyms for 12 resources
>                 that are part of RDF or RDFS.  This is probably a bad idea
>                 that should not be repeated in OWL as it can lead to
>                 confusion as to what comes from where, particularly as not
>                 all RDF and RDFS built-in resources are so treated, and at
>                 least one ``local name'', Class, is used in both RDFS and
>                 OWL.
>                 The 12 DAML+OIL statements in question are
> <rdf:Property rdf:ID="subPropertyOf">
>   <samePropertyAs  rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#subPropertyOf"/>
> </rdf:Property>
> <rdfs:Class rdf:ID="Class">
>   <sameClassAs rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#Class"/>
> </rdfs:Class>
> <rdfs:Class rdf:ID="Literal">
>   <sameClassAs rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#Literal"/>
> </rdfs:Class>
> <rdfs:Class rdf:ID="Property">
>   <sameClassAs rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#Property"/>
> </rdfs:Class>
> <rdf:Property rdf:ID="type">
>   <samePropertyAs rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#type"/>
> </rdf:Property>
> <rdf:Property rdf:ID="value">
>   <samePropertyAs rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#value"/>
> </rdf:Property>
> <rdf:Property rdf:ID="subClassOf">
>   <samePropertyAs rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#subClassOf"/>
> </rdf:Property>
> <rdf:Property rdf:ID="domain">
>   <samePropertyAs rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#domain"/>
> </rdf:Property>
> <rdf:Property rdf:ID="range">
>   <samePropertyAs rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#range"/>
> </rdf:Property>
> <rdf:Property rdf:ID="label">
>   <samePropertyAs rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#label"/>
> </rdf:Property>
> <rdf:Property rdf:ID="comment">
>   <samePropertyAs rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#comment"/>
> </rdf:Property>
> <rdf:Property rdf:ID="seeAlso">
>   <samePropertyAs rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#seeAlso"/>
> </rdf:Property>
> <rdf:Property rdf:ID="isDefinedBy">
>   <samePropertyAs rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#isDefinedBy"/>
>   <rdfs:subPropertyOf rdf:resource="#seeAlso"/>
> </rdf:Property>
> RAISED BY:      Peter F. Patel-Schneider
> REFERENCE:      http://www.daml.org/2002/06/webont/owl.html
>                 http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-webont-wg/2002Jul/0205.html
Received on Friday, 26 July 2002 17:14:51 UTC

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