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[LC Response] To Jacco van Ossenbruggen Re: Confusion about the status of the XML Serialisation syntax

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 15:07:35 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <20090318.150735.220973081.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
To: Jacco.van.Ossenbruggen@cwi.nl
Cc: public-owl-comments@w3.org
Dear Jacco,

Thank you for your message
on the OWL 2 Web Ontology Language last call drafts.
The Working Group acknowledges that the recent last call document set
confused some readers, particularly with respect to the overall OWL 2
environment and the various syntaxes for OWL 2.  At its last
face-to-face meeting the Working Group has, therefore, added a new
document to the OWL 2 suite, entitled "Document Overview". The document
has not yet been published, but an editor's draft is publicly available


The Document Overview document describes the status of the various
syntaxes for OWL 2 and clearly states that RDF/XML is the primary syntax
for the exchange of OWL 2 ontologies.  This status is reiterated in the
Conformance document.  The Document Overview document states that the
XML syntax need not be supported by OWL 2 tools.

There are other parts of the OWL 2 recommendation that are optional as
well.  There can be OWL 2 tools that only implement OWL 2 RL, for

The reason for a normative and recommendation track status for the OWL
2 XML syntax is to say that OWL 2 tools that use an XML schema
specified syntax for the exchange of ontology documents *should* use
the XML schema provided in the OWL 2 recommendation. Making the XML
syntax a working group note would not provide this sort of guidance.

To make the status of the XML syntax clearer, the introduction to the
XML Schema document has been changed to:

This document defines the XML syntax for OWL 2, an alternative exchange
syntax for OWL 2 designed for use by XML tools (e.g., tools using, for
example, XQuery [XQuery]).  Although this XML syntax is designed as an
exchange syntax for OWL 2, RDF/XML remains the primary exchange syntax
for OWL---use of this syntax by OWL 2 tools is optional.

The XML syntax mirrors the
structural specification of OWL 2 [OWL 2 Specification] and is defined
by means of an XML schema [XML Schema], which is available as part of
this document. The XML schema has been obtained by a straightforward
translation of the structural specification of the OWL 2 Specification
[OWL 2 Specification] in the following way:  

The Working Group plans on making the examples in the OWL 2 Structural
Specification and Functional Syntax document available in other
syntaxes, even though that document only defines one syntax.  The
Working group does not intend to make changes to the XML Serialization
document in response to your message.

We hope that the new document and other upcoming changes address your

Please acknowledge receipt of this email to
<mailto:public-owl-comments@w3.org> (replying to this email should
suffice). In your acknowledgment please let us know whether or not you
are satisfied with the working group's response to your comment. 

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
on behalf of the W3C OWL Working Group 
Received on Wednesday, 18 March 2009 19:07:03 UTC

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