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RE: MT for imports (was: Re: Imports Proposal)

From: Massimo Marchiori <massimo@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 02:14:15 +0100
To: "Frank van Harmelen" <Frank.van.Harmelen@cs.vu.nl>, <www-webont-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NGBBJNKIMLOPPCFHEJEMOEAKDBAA.massimo@w3.org>

> I remain entirely baffled by all of this.
>
> As Jerome Euzenat wrote:
>
> > The timed web structure applies to ontologies exactly like it applies to
> > hyperlinks in html, xsl:include and xsl:imports in XSLT, etc.
>
> Of course, some advanced version of imports would depend on the "timed web
> structure" (Massimo), but I cannot see how that should stop us from providing
> something simple.
>
> Lots and lots of computer languages provide import-like things,
> varying from C to Scheme, and from LaTeX to XML. None of these have any of
> the problems raised in the preceding discussion. Pat's example of someone
> changing an imported file is common to all of these, happily ignored by all
> of them, and rightly so, since it doesn't seem to break any of them, the
> meaning and pragmatics of these import constructions is entirely clear for
> all of them. If it works for XML, why wouldn't it work for OWL?
>
> I can simply not imagine standing up in front of a crowd, proudly explaining
> OWL, and having to admit that,... eh... no, well... actually, in OWL you
> cannot import other people's ontologies...

Frank, I entirely agree. Note what you say is (I think) perfectly compatible with
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-webont-wg/2002Nov/0164.html , and what others (including, implicitly, Jerome in his last
post) have been advocating as well: the operational import. Specifically, rdfs:seeAlso is already there, and could profitably serve
our needs. It's when these "pragmatic", as you say, needs are escalated to touch the logical structure (entailment), that we start
to have problems; and we'd better postpone those problems to v2, as they would in all likelihood required a timed RDF datamodel, and
even more cycles lost. Users don't need this for the moment, they just need, pragmatically, something that lets them import files.

Besides, this would also avoid Jim a huge headache, and I think he will be more than willing to offer us a round of beers to have
this issue smoothly closed... And imagine at that point, the fun of staying in front of a crowd and explaining that a round of beers
helped to quickly produce this nifty OWL spec ;) !

-M
Received on Wednesday, 13 November 2002 20:16:06 GMT

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