RE: English examples in the OWL 2 syntax specification

Hi Boris, all,

My (instant) suggestion would be:
- to use *both* forms when the particular construct is used for the first
time, for sure
- then to only use one of them (to reduce verbosity), probably the natural
language one.

I definitely advise to systematically use, in a single example, either the
names with the prefix ('a:') or the common names only. To say, either we
talk about a relationship of semantic web entities: "a:Brian is a a:Dog"
(referring to an individual identified by a URL, and a class from the
particular ontology), or "Brian is a dog" (which means that the identity of
the individual and the set-theoretic meaning of the 'dog' concept follow,
considering the sentence by itself, from some context - which merely
happens to coincide with the mentioned URIs).


Vojtech Svatek, University of Economics, Prague
Nam.W.Churchilla 4, 13067 Praha 3, CZECH REPUBLIC
phone: +420 224095495, e-mail:
web: napsal: -----

>Komu: "'Kaarel Kaljurand'" <>,
>Od: "Boris Motik" <>
>Datum: 14.09.2008 21:59
>Předmět: RE: English examples in the OWL 2 syntax specification
>(I redirected this discussion to public-owl-wg, because I feel this
>is a more appropriate list.)
>Thanks a lot for this analysis -- it is certainly important to make
>the examples as consistent as possible.
>Before I change the examples, though, I believe we need to decide on
>the purpose of the English examples. I included them into the
>spec because I felt that many readers could benefit from an intuitive
>explanation what a particular axiom means. At first, I tried
>not to use the actual OWL elements in the example; thus, I would
>explain an axiom
>SubClassOf( a:Child a:Person )
>with the sentence "Children are people". But then, some people
>complained about such paraphrasing of the axioms: they felt that
>was imprecise. Instead, they thought we should paraphrase this axiom
>as "Each instance of a:Child is an instance of a:Person as
>well" -- that is, to use a more modeling-centric view. I updated much
>of the spec; however, I did not know myself what to do in many
>cases. Thus, it is highly likely that the examples are inconsistent.
>Now the question is really what approach to adopt. I still believe
>that having some kind of English explanation would be very
>useful. I'd like to hear from others about what kind of approach to
>adopt there -- a more natural-language one or a more OWL-centric
>Thanks again -- I find this analysis really useful.
>    Boris
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
>[] On Behalf Of Kaarel
>> Kaljurand
>> Sent: 14 September 2008 20:26
>> To:
>> Subject: English examples in the OWL 2 syntax specification
>> Hi,
>> I extracted all the examples from the OWL 2 Syntax specification
>> revision from
>> the end of August) to see how the specification expresses the OWL
>> axioms in English.
>> After sorting the examples by the axioms, many irregularities in
>> English expressions
>> were revealed. I think most of the irregularities are
>> See the report:
>> --
>> kaarel

Received on Sunday, 14 September 2008 20:23:20 UTC