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RE: philosophy of SWBPD (was Re: [OPEN] and/or [PORT] : a practical question)

From: Uschold, Michael F <michael.f.uschold@boeing.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 23:33:26 -0800
Message-ID: <823043AB1B52784D97754D186877B6CF04894C7F@xch-nw-12.nw.nos.boeing.com>
To: "Jim Hendler" <hendler@cs.umd.edu>, "Christopher Welty" <welty@us.ibm.com>, "Jeremy Carroll" <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Cc: "Bernard Vatant" <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>, "Ian Horrocks" <horrocks@cs.man.ac.uk>, "SWBPD" <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>, <public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org>
Jim makes a good point, and it is most valid in those cases when
alternate approaches will work well. But that is not always the case,
and there are many gray areas. When there ARE clear arguments for or
against a given modeling choice, then I believe it IS the role of this
group to identify commonly arising BAD ways to model things and
recommend to avoid them, as well as to recommend GOOD ways to do certain
kinds of things.   We should avoid taking positions UNLESS there are
clear arguments one way or the other, and as Jim says, indicate the
consequences of decisions, so users can choose what will work best in
their particular circumstances.
-----Original Message-----
From: public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Jim Hendler
Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2004 2:34 PM
To: Christopher Welty; Jeremy Carroll
Cc: Bernard Vatant; Ian Horrocks; SWBPD; public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org
Subject: ALL: philosophy of SWBPD (was Re: [OPEN] and/or [PORT] : a
practical question)
At 12:59 -0500 3/24/04, Christopher Welty wrote:
Jeremy wrote on 03/24/2004 04:24:16 AM:

> Yes, like Bernard, I have been thinking more about this, and about
> insistence in WebOnt that classes-and-instances was almost always
raised by
> people wanting to mismodel their world. (cc Ian, wondering if I have
> my lessons well!, or misrepresented him)
Well, "mismodelling their world" is not limited to classes as instances.
I find it rather dangerous to make such statements.  People use subclass
incorrectly, too, but that wasn't a reason to remove that axiom from OWL
DL.  People just mismodel their worlds, I hope we can offer some advice
on both how to do some of these things and how NOT to do it.
See, it's this kind of converse that makes me nervous -- somehow the
idea that the people who prefer separating class from instance (as Ian
is quoted by Jeremy) are right and those who prefer to use metamodeling
(like Guus as quoted to WOWG. I don't have time to dig up the mail) are
somehow mismodeling.  This is nonsense -- did everyone who ever used
Protege before the OWL plug-in get it "wrong" in some sense??  Yet
protege, like many other systems, makes wide use of the extremely useful
feature of treating classes as instances - they just don't export that
when you use the OWL plugin in DL mode (as I understand it). 
 My big fear for this WG is that we're going to somehow "endorse"
certain kinds of representation and say other folks are somehow making
errors - yet on the web, different people with different opinions about
representation will all need to use the languages, we must be careful
not to be like the "soup nazi"s in the Seinfeld show [1] who get to
dictate who gets their soup and who doesn't based on some set of rules
that no one else understands...
 Seriously, I think the BPD will do a great service if we explain the
issues and the advantages and disadvantages of various representations -
but if we start to dictate one way or the other as "correct" then we
will be doing a disservice to the community and will not be helping to
deploy the semantic web.
[1] http://members.aol.com/rynocub/soupnazi.htm
Professor James 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 Thursday, 25 March 2004 02:41:30 EST

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