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RE: 5.20, need for synonyms

From: Smith, Michael K <michael.smith@eds.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 12:46:46 -0500
Message-ID: <B8E84F4D9F65D411803500508BE322140F76CC74@USPLM207>
To: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Cc: jonathan@openhealth.org, www-webont-wg@w3.org

Just thought I would add my 2 cents for the record.

It has taken me a long time, but I have finally figured out that if you want
to sell something to someone, you make it easy for them to buy.

We want to sell OWL to the world.  If our readers pick up the OWL documents
and the first thing they see are multiple owl:, rdf:, and rdfs: prefixes,
they are likely to think they need to understand 3 things in order to
understand OWL.  That raises the bar unneccessarily.

Of course, tools can mitigate this, but the first thing people are going to
see are our documents.

I'm not passionate about this.  For me, a symbol is a symbol.  But by the
same reasoning, substituting for equals shouldn't make our job any harder.
The issue of interpretation by RDF tools does not seem to me to be hugely
significant.  I confess I am not familiar with the tool landscape, but
modifying these systems (the thinest end of the web ontology adoption wave)
seems trivial.  If the implementors choose not to do so, then they won't be
able to extract useful RDF information from OWL KBs.  So be it.

- Mike

Michael K. Smith, Ph.D., P.E.
EDS - Austin Innovation Centre
98 San Jacinto, #500
Austin, TX  78701

* phone: +01-512-404-6683
* mailto:michael.smith@eds.com
www.eds.com


-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Carroll [mailto:jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com]
Sent: Friday, July 26, 2002 10:25 PM
To: Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Cc: jonathan@openhealth.org; www-webont-wg@w3.org
Subject: Re: 5.20, need for synonyms

I find myself in vigorous agreement with Peter here.

I will add by two pennies worth about what are acceptable and 
unacceptable changes in meaning.

Jonathan Borden wrote:
 > If any concept/token/QName or URIreference is defined _in
 > any small or even trivial_ way differently for OWL than
 > RDF/RDFS, then this concept should be given a name in the
 > OWL namespace.

The RDF concept of meaning is:
- shown using a model theory that exhibits entailments
- intended to be monotonically augmented.

A change to RDF meaning is seen when the correct entailments of a file 
change.
A change in level (e.g. RDF to RDFS or RDFS to OWL, or RDF to datatyped 
RDF) is intended to add more entailments.
In the extreme case, all entailments of a document are added and that 
document becomes a contradiction.

Hence any change to the meaning that does not *stop* any rdf entailments 
is OK by RDF.

I have argued that we should try very hard to stick to this, even if we 
kludge it by restricting syntactically the scope of OWL.

I don't want synonyms.

Jeremy
Received on Wednesday, 31 July 2002 13:49:21 GMT

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