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Re: syntax task force - differences between the two approaches

From: Sean Bechhofer <seanb@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 12:04:10 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
cc: www-webont-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.WNT.4.44.0302271202550.1720-100000@potato>

Section 2 of the S&AS [1] states:

The description of OWL in this section abstracts from concrete syntax
and thus facilitates access to and evaluation of the language.
]] (**)

S&AS divides things roughly into:

o axioms concerning the class definitions and the introduction of

o additional axioms concerning equality, subclass and disjointness.

As a user of the language, I find this a relatively easy to follow

The alternative presentation, particularly the approach to equivalence
and disjointness is, to me, less clear. It took me some time to be
sure that I really could make assertions about the equality of
arbitrary descriptions. Such issues/explanations can be handled in
documents like the overview and guide, but I would suggest this is
somewhat contrary to the spirit of (**) above.

I understand that Jeremy's changes may allow an easier translation
to/from the underlying triples of an RDF graph, but I'd be wary of
compromising the readability of the abstract syntax in order to
achieve this. As Jeremy says [1]:

Some of the differences could have been avoided but at the cost of
making the description of the triples form more complicated. The first
of these could be perceived as an uglification of the abstract syntax.

As I said last week, my personal opinion in this is that I'd like a
clean abstract syntax. That's the level at which I (and I would
imagine others) will work. For many things that I want to do, the
relationship with the triples is unimportant, as it is simply a
mechanism that gets used for shipping things about. Of course, there
are other points of view here -- I'm particularly interested in
working within the OWL-DL fragment, so the relationship with RDF is of
less interest to me.



[1] http://www-db.research.bell-labs.com/user/pfps/owl/semantics/syntax.html#2
[2] http://sealpc09.cnuce.cnr.it/jeremy/owl-syntax/2003-12-Feb/diffs.html

Sean Bechhofer
Received on Thursday, 27 February 2003 07:19:17 UTC

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