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

From: Uschold, Michael F <michael.f.uschold@boeing.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 21:21:33 -0800
Message-ID: <823043AB1B52784D97754D186877B6CF04894EE1@xch-nw-12.nw.nos.boeing.com>
To: "Jim Hendler" <hendler@cs.umd.edu>, "Uschold, Michael F" <michael.f.uschold@boeing.com>, <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>

> p.s. Mike - have you noticed our world view doesn't always seem to align :->

MFU> Actually, while there are some key views we do not share, often the differences are more apparent than real. For example in this note, I'm not wedded to the abstract syntax in particular, it is just one example of a user-friendly syntax.  We both seem to agree that a reader-friendly syntax would be helpful in some situations. I can live with N3 far better than raw OWL/RDF.

 -----Original Message-----
From: 	Jim Hendler [mailto:hendler@cs.umd.edu] 
Sent:	Tuesday, March 30, 2004 8:22 PM
To:	Uschold, Michael F; public-swbp-wg@w3.org
Subject:	RE: [ALL]  Human-friendly syntax for communicating OWL fragments

At 20:09 -0800 3/30/04, Uschold, Michael F wrote:
>I propose that by convention all OWL fragments are given using the 
>reader-friendly abstract syntax, rather than the parser-friendly XML 
>syntax.  Personaly, I cannot read OWL fragments well enough to be 
>motivated to ever understand the details, so I tend to skip over 
>them.  Even when I can get motivated, it takes way too much time.

I object to this strongly -- that syntax is neither reader friendly 
nor actually a part of the recommendation.  Much more importantly, we 
should be creating fragments that people can cut and paste into their 
documents (and edit) -- forcing them to figure out the mapping from 
the so-called human readable syntax into actually RDF or OWL (XML or 
N3) makes no sense.

MFU: in cases when it is likely that cut and pasting fragments is likely to done, the actual OWL fragment should be available, but I prefer it at the end in an appendix, and to keep the flow of the text more readable and more quickly understood.  Recent exchanges which had varoius OWL fragments, I think are very unlikely to be cut/pasted and parsed.

>I would argue very strongly that any public documents published by 
>this WG  do use the more readable syntax. Why not get used to it 
>when we communicate with each other? It will also make it easier to 
>grab things from discussions in the archive and plunk them into 
>documents, instead of having to translate into the abstract syntax 
>suitable for the public.

I advocate use of "turtle" - which should be the first document this 
WG approves as a working note (if Dave is willing)

>Of course, if the discussion is about parsing, or about the syntax 
>of the language, then it is better to use the parser-friendly 
>syntax, both for internal discussions and for publised documents.

what is parser friendly?

>What do people think about this suggestion?
>If the overwhelming majority of this WG actually PREFER to read the 
>parser-friendly syntax, then perhaps I'd best get used to it, but it 
>there are many like me, it makes sense to use a more reader-friendly 

well, we could get into whether this is a voting issue for a WG (be 
careful when you use words like "majority" in a W3C group) but my 
vote is for N3 (Turtle) which is a nice compromise - or else to stick 
w/the RDF/XML for cut and paste reasons
p.s. Mike - have you noticed our world view doesn't always seem to align :->
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 Wednesday, 31 March 2004 00:24:21 EST

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