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Re: LANG: owl:import - Two Proposals (MIME type stuff)

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: 03 Oct 2002 14:27:33 -0500
To: Jeff Heflin <heflin@cse.lehigh.edu>
Cc: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>, WebOnt <www-webont-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1033673254.13755.700.camel@dirk>

On Mon, 2002-09-30 at 09:46, Jeff Heflin wrote:
> 
> Jim,
> 
> Thanks for the arguments in favor of and against proposal 2. I think it
> is important that all the pros and cons be identified and we have a
> debate on this so that the WG can truly make the best decision, whether
> that be in favor of proposal 1, 2 or something as yet undetermined.
> 
> That said, I'd like to discuss your points:
> 
> Proposal #1 requires a new MIME type
> -------------------------------------
> I find this an interesting point. Does the W3C have any documentation
> that say when a new MIME type is required or recommended?

Funny you should ask...

TAG Finding: Internet Media Type registration, consistency of use
http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2002/0129-mime

but aside from having pointers to the relevant MIME specs
and such, it doesn't say much that helps, really...

"W3C Working Groups engaged in defining a language SHOULD arrange for
the registration of an Internet Media Type (defined in RFC 2046
[RFC2046]) for that language"

Well, duh.

That doesn't really help us decide whether we should use
	application/octet-stream
since, after all, all our files will be sequences of bytes, or
	application/xml
since all our files will be well-formed XML or
	application/xml+rdf
since all our files will be RDF/XML, or something new like...
	application/xml+owl


It seems to me that since OWL can be mixed with
other vocabularies (RSS, dublin core, MusicBrains)
per RDF syntax, but it can't (straightforwardly)
be mixed with arbitrary XML vocabularies like XHTML
or docbook, that application/xml+rdf is a good fit.


> On one hand, I
> don't see why we need a new one because we are just using our own XML
> schema to describe the Ontology, imports, etc. tags. Thus, it would seem
> we could just use the XML MIME type. Certainly, the W3C doesn't require
> a new MIME type for each schema?

One could read the TAG finding that way. I don't think I would.

> However, on the other hand, our
> language does have special semantics that most XML schemas don't have,
> and perhaps the MIME type is used to indicate to applications that they
> should process it in a different way. This makes sense, but then it
> seems to me, OWL should have its own MIME type regardless. After all, we
> have a different semantics from RDF (even if it is just additive).

No, nothing in our specs is different from what's specified
for the RDF MIME type. RDF is a framework; the semantics
of a small core vocabulary is specified, but any other
vocabulary can be "mixed in" without leaving the framework,
and without conflicting with the MIME type. The most
recent RDFCore WD is starting to explain this pretty well...

http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-concepts/#section-Meaning

> So,
> it seems to me either both proposals or neither require the new MIME
> type,

agreed.

> and I'm leaning toward both of them needing one.

Disagreed. ;-)


-- 
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Thursday, 3 October 2002 15:27:14 GMT

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