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Re: Ontology modules and namespaces

From: Andrea Splendiani <andrea.splendiani@bbsrc.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 03:20:50 +0000
Cc: "semantic-web@w3.org" <semantic-web@w3.org>, "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>
Message-Id: <02BC20D6-A939-4617-8166-BB25EE9799B2@bbsrc.ac.uk>
To: Simon Reinhardt <simon.reinhardt@koeln.de>

I think that if the need for modularization is real, it won't be a  
problem to have different prefixes, as these should map to distinct  
(hopefully) intuitive partitions of an ontology.
I think some simple trick as choosing less confusing prefixed would  


On 26 Oct 2009, at 14:25, 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

Andrea Splendiani
Senior Bioinformatics Scientist
Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK
+44(0)1582 763133 ext 2004
Received on Monday, 9 November 2009 03:21:24 UTC

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