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RE: Part I of Response to Peter F. Patel-Schneider

From: Michael Schneider <schneid@fzi.de>
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 2009 12:34:03 +0200
Message-ID: <0EF30CAA69519C4CB91D01481AEA06A0011DA6F7@judith.fzi.de>
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Cc: "W3C OWL Working Group" <public-owl-wg@w3.org>
Hi Peter!

This mail is exclusively about your comment concerning the term "IRI

Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote on April 02, 2009:

>>>Terminology change:
>>>"IRI reference" -> "absolute IRI"
>> The (consistent) use of "IRI reference" in the document was
>> because the term "URI reference" is (also consistently) used in the
>> original RDF Semantics document. In general, I wanted to avoid
>> terminological deviation from the RDF Semantics. I also want to note
>> that the term "IRI reference" is used in the IRI specification itself
>> (RFC 3987).
>> Nevertheless, I would agree to change the term, if "IRI reference"
>> not be in use in the rest of the OWL 2 document suite. However, I can
>> see that this term is frequently used in at least the Structural
>> Specification and in the RDF Mapping.
>> As a consequence, I would prefer not to change the current use of "IRI
>> reference".
>This is not a request for a wording change just for stylistic reasons.
>My belief is that IRI reference is technically incorrect, as it includes
>relative IRIs.  SS&FS has already made this change.  RDF uses URI
>reference to mean absolute URI with optional fragment.

Ok, "absolute resource identifier with optional fragment" is what I want to
refer to, either, because all our built-in vocabulary terms are composed
with a fragment "#foo" attached.

So I had a look in RFC 3987:


According to the BNF in Section 2.2 (and hoping that the non-terminals stand
for what they are called), an "IRI reference" can be either an "IRI" or a
"relative reference":

  IRI-reference = IRI / irelative-ref

So you seem to be right. In this case, it is at least not correct to use the
term "IRI reference" in Section 2.1, where it is said that the nodes of
triples may be "IRI references". 

Now, looking further to the BNF, in order to see what is the correct term
for referring to an "absolute resource identifier with optional fragment",
there is

  IRI = scheme ":" ihier-part [ "?" iquery ] [ "#" ifragment ]

and, AFAICT, this has the form I am looking for.
In your original mail, you suggested "absolute IRI", but the BNF tells:

  absolute-IRI   = scheme ":" ihier-part [ "?" iquery ]

i.e. the optional fragment is missing.

So the winner seems to be "IRI".

If you agree, I will replace /every/ occurrence of "IRI reference" by "IRI"
in the RDF-Based Semantics.

In addition, I would then suggest to use "IRI" consistently everywhere in
our documents (I believe that we never talk about relative references, at
least not in the core documents (perhaps in OWL/XML, I don't know)). There
are still many occurrences of "IRI reference" in the Mapping, and at least
two in the Structural Specification.

Do you agree with this approach?


Dipl.-Inform. Michael Schneider
Research Scientist, Dept. Information Process Engineering (IPE)
Tel  : +49-721-9654-726
Fax  : +49-721-9654-727
Email: michael.schneider@fzi.de
WWW  : http://www.fzi.de/michael.schneider
FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik an der Universität Karlsruhe
Haid-und-Neu-Str. 10-14, D-76131 Karlsruhe
Tel.: +49-721-9654-0, Fax: +49-721-9654-959
Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts, Az 14-0563.1, RP Karlsruhe
Vorstand: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rüdiger Dillmann, Dipl. Wi.-Ing. Michael Flor,
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolffried Stucky, Prof. Dr. Rudi Studer
Vorsitzender des Kuratoriums: Ministerialdirigent Günther Leßnerkraus

Received on Sunday, 5 April 2009 10:34:46 UTC

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