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Re: Ontology modules and namespaces

From: Ian Emmons <iemmons@bbn.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 23:48:58 -0500
Cc: semantic-web@w3.org, public-lod@w3.org
Message-Id: <50514F49-2BFB-491B-A270-1D545E8E696C@bbn.com>
To: Simon Reinhardt <simon.reinhardt@koeln.de>
Some tools, such as TopBraid Composer, do not behave well when the  
namespace-to-file mapping is not 1-to-1.  This fact doesn't say  
anything about the right or wrong of your proposal, of course -- only  
about how easy it will be in practice.

On Oct 26, 2009, at 10:25 AM, Simon Reinhardt wrote:
> Hi,
> It is becoming somewhat popular for large ontologies to be split  
> into a core ontology file and module ontology files (which import  
> the core). Normally each module then gets its own namespace for the  
> terms defined in it. I was wondering though if that is too  
> complicated for users of the ontologies. I have seen confusion of  
> "sioc" and "sioct" (the prefixes for the SIOC core and the SIOC  
> Types module namespaces) and when such vocabularies get higher  
> adoption by people not so well versed with ontologies I can see it  
> happen a lot more often.
> So as an alternative I want to explore the idea of just using one  
> namespace shared between the core and the modules. The advantage  
> would be not having to guess which namespace to use. One  
> disadvantage for the developer(s) of the ontology is that a "local  
> name" can only be used in one of the modules or core, you can't use  
> the same "word" under a different namespace with a different  
> meaning. Another disadvantage is that if you want the terms to  
> dereference to the ontology files they have been defined in then you  
> can only do that with a "/" namespace (and you have to set up lots  
> of redirects).
> My questions: What do you think of that idea? Can you see any other  
> advantages or disadvantages? Do you think several namespaces are not  
> confusing at all? And what are the main advantages to splitting up  
> ontologies into modules other than being easier to organise? Do they  
> justify a higher burden on the ontology users?
> Thanks,
> Simon

Received on Tuesday, 3 November 2009 13:32:52 UTC

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