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RE: [ALL] Human-friendly syntax for communicating OWL fragments

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2004 18:04:02 -0400
Message-Id: <p0602041ebc97863cb7a4@[]>
To: Frank van Harmelen <Frank.van.Harmelen@cs.vu.nl>, public-swbp-wg@w3.org

At 23:39 +0200 4/5/04, Frank van Harmelen wrote:

>- Of course, syntax is also a matter of taste, and indeed, N3 is 
>already a whole lot better than RDF/XML, but we might as well use 
>parts of the W3C spec's rather than non-spec notations. I find it 
>strange that Jim argues against the Abstract Syntax on the grounds 
>that it isn't part of the OWL specs (while it is, see [2]), and then 
>argues in favour of N3, which has no formal status whatsoever.

Frank - this was indeed an error on my part -- typing too fast -- I 
was trying to say that not all the specs included it (RDF and RDF S 
dont) nor do all the Owl specs (WG chose to use RDF/XML) -- my 
apologies for poor wording.   I also didn't actually argue in favor 
of N3 per se -- I argued for Dave BEckett's Turtle, and suggested the 
WG could make it a note -- not a spec, but a very useful way to write 
RDF/OWL - even better than the AS in many cases IMHO

however, I do agree with your conclusion:

At 23:39 +0200 4/5/04, Frank van Harmelen wrote:
>I find it very surprising that anybody believes that any single 
>syntax will do for all purposes, and all audiences. So at least, in 
>the WG documents, you should think who the intended audience of the 
>document is, and what is most suited for them. Sure, RDF/XML is 
>appropriate for some (e.g. a document for engineers about parsing 
>OWL), but not for all

However, I personally have always had far more difficulty reading the 
AS than the N3 or RDF/XML -- I also notice that my favorite SW text 
to date [1] uses the RDF/XML syntax as the common denominator 
language - so I suspect this, like lots of other things, is not 
something where there are hard and fast rules as to which is better 
for what...


[1] A Semantic Web Primer, Antoniou and van Harmelen, MIT Press, forthcoming.

Professor James Hendler			  http://www.cs.umd.edu/users/hendler
Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies	  301-405-2696
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.	  301-405-6707 (Fax)
Univ of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742	  240-277-3388 (Cell)
Received on Monday, 5 April 2004 18:04:00 UTC

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