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Re: ISSUE 5.6 - daml:imports as magic syntax

From: Jonathan Borden <jonathan@openhealth.org>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 08:45:47 -0400
Message-ID: <017c01c25991$27178ce0$af363418@ne.mediaone.net>
To: "Jeff Heflin" <heflin@cse.lehigh.edu>, "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Cc: <www-webont-wg@w3.org>

Jeff Heflin wrote:
> Although imports could be treated syntactically (kind of like a
> "#include" directive), I think that would be a big mistake.  The point
> of imports is that knowledge from another source applies to the resource
> in which it is expressed. The Semantic Web is fundamentally about
> distributed ontologies and data sources, and as such its semantics
> should discuss these things explicitly. A syntactic fix obscures one of
> the things that differentiates the Semantic Web from traditional logic
> approaches. Ontologies and the interrelationships between them are
> important; they aren't just things to be swept under the rug.

It is one thing to produce a language that is capable of talking about
ontologies and it seems that to the extent we can talk about an given
owl:Ontology, we can say whatever is needed. "owl:import" is a different
issue, and I'm not sure that we need _both_ mechanisms. That is to say the
so-called "extralogical" assertions ought be encoded my one mechanism,
namely owl:Ontology. Perhaps if there was a good and simple and specific use
case that _requires_ owl:import to have semantics, I'd be better convinced
that we can't just handle it syntactically, e.g. via XML Include.

Received on Wednesday, 11 September 2002 09:03:01 UTC

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