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Re: OWL working drafts - feedback sought

From: Christopher Welty <welty@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 23:09:57 -0400
To: www-webont-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFC06F907F.1350928A-ON85256C2B.0010AB1A@pok.ibm.com>


Well, naive of procedure though I am, surely I'm not the only one who 
thinks that this "issue" (I use the term in the non-formal sense) of 
"stopping at lite" should be decided right away.  A lot of other issues 
(formal sense) just go away if it is decided we should stop at lite.  A 
lot of work yet-to-be-done (not to mention already done) would be wasted 
if we postpone the decision and then decide to stop at lite.


Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Sent by: www-webont-wg-request@w3.org
09/04/2002 10:40 PM

        To:     Christopher Welty/Watson/IBM@IBMUS
        cc:     www-webont-wg@w3c.org
        Subject:        Re: OWL working drafts - feedback sought


At 9:30 AM -0400 9/4/02, Christopher Welty wrote:
>Hon. Chair,
>My reading of Issue 5.2 seems to me very clearly to be whether a SUBSET 
>the language should exist:
>It has been proposed that DAML+OIL is a complex language that is hard to
>implement and/or explain to new users. As a result, different 
>are creating incompatible subsets of the language features that they
>support. A possible way to improve this situation is to have a particular
>subset that is recommended in the form of a proper compliance level --
>that is, a subset of the total functionality that is easier to explain 
>implement, and that forms a useable core sublanguage.
>Calling Owl-lite a SUBSET of the full language implies that there IS a
>full language.  If we want to make the exclusivity of OWL-Lite an issue,
>it must be made a separate and distinct issue.  I know you want to close
>issues at this stage not open them, but lumping two major issues into one
>doesn't help us reach a solution.
>I strongly support the need for creating the full language, and am 
>ambivalent about having OWL-lite - how could that be if it's one issue?

OK, let me be clear -
  first, I was soliciting input on both sides of that issue.  I have 
heard feedback off the record, and wanted to ask people to put it ON 
the record.  I did not in any way mean to prejudice the issue.

  Second, as far as our discussion went, both on the phone and at a 
f2f there were people who suggested that maybe we could stop at Lite. 
The chairs decided (and if you didn't think it a chair decision 
earlier, than accept it here) NOT to open a new issue, but to revisit 
that question when we got to issue 5.2, and at that point to decide 
whether we wanted to raise this issue or not.  And, if you want early 
explicit discussion - please go review the log of the Amsterdam f2f 
were we explicitely discussed (without reaching consensus) the idea 
of stopping with a langauge that was a subset of DAML+OIL - we just 
didn't call it OIL Lite yet.

At 8:40 AM -0400 9/4/02, Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote:
>I don't see how you can say this.  In my view, both of Jim's special
>requests for feedback go far beyond what should be included in a request
>for general feedback on a set of documents.
>By the way, I would feel just as strongly if Jim had said something like:
>                We would particularly like feedback on whether basing OWL 
on RDF is
>                a good or bad idea.

I don't think these are all similar, the group reached consensus and 
recorded a decision on basing OWL on RDF.  Please show me a recorded 
decision by our WG that indicates we have reached consensus on the 
issue being discussed here.

>One reason that such requests are a bad idea is that they bias the
>feedback.  For example, how can anyone who believes that stopping at OWL
>Lite is a good idea now use any feedback to bolster their position?

  I haven't a clue what you mean by this -  They can say "I think we 
should stop here because" or "No, I use the feature XXX very heavily 
in the ontology at ..."

We must address this  issue at some point, and I believe feedback on 
it was important.  By asking for feedback on X I am in no way 
prejudging X, but inviting both X and NOT(X) feedback.

Frankly I'm quite insulted by the way you folks are responding to 
this - my responsibilities as chair certainly allow me to solicit 
feedback on issues I think are important to us going to Candidate 
Rec, and I did in NO WAY prejudge this issue - I simply asked 
feedback - I believe my wording:

>  > >>    In addition, there are some who feel that stopping at OWL Lite 
>>  >>  be a good idea (i.e. come out with a simpler version w/less
>>  >>  inferential power, but easier to implement) - we need feedback on
>  > >>  this as well

is completely neutral, I presented feedback I had heard and asked 
people to issue statements on it -- I think the DAML community, the 
most advanced users of this language to date, were the perfect users 
to solicit feedback from - and I see no reason why the way I asked 
the question doesn;t allow people to say they think this is a bad 

This is also not the first time I have solicited feedback about 
levels and competences - see [1] from my WWW 2002 talk which was made 
available to the WG (and the public) back in May.

p.s. If I wanted specific feedback or to bounce my own ideas, I would 
have specifically noted this was not sent as the chair -- I've been 
very careful about this - if anyone has complaints, let me hear them. 
And, in fact, sending comments like this right to me, instead of the 
group, is probably a better way to go.

  Actually, I am totally neutral on this issue.

[1] http://www.w3.org/2002/Talks/www2002-ont-jh/slide13-0.html

Professor James Hendler    hendler@cs.umd.edu
Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies              301-405-2696
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.             301-405-6707 
Univ of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742                   240-731-3822 
Received on Wednesday, 4 September 2002 23:10:31 UTC

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