Re: Extending RDFS, property-classes

Hello Richard,

I find your remark very odd, and more demonstrative of a lack of
experience than an accurate perception of the state or vision of the
Semantic Web. Certainly the lack of customers using OWL becomes a
self-fulfilling prophecy when such a point of view is held.

OWL is widely deployed in the area I work on the Semantic Web for
science, with our own Neurocommons being a 400M triple store expressed
in OWL and many other projects using OWL. Within biomedicine OWL is
commonly used, with the OBO ontologies, the NCI thesaurus all
available in OWL and SNOMED on the way. It would make no sense for any
of these projects to use RDF or even RDFS. For one thing there is no
way for anything to be incorrect (from a logical point of view) in
RDFS, and you might be aware of a certain penchant scientists have for
theories that can be refuted.

Even within RDF usage, there are bits of OWL vocabulary that are quite
popular and are used extensively, for example (for better or worse)
owl:sameAs and owl:inverseFunctionalProperty

On the matter of uptake of OWL 2 annotations, more expressivity in
these was widely requested and I expect that they will actually be
quite popular both in the OWL world and by uptake as vocabulary
elements by those who tend to primarily use RDF. For one thing, the
Semantic Web languages are aimed to be a set that work together and
build on each other. OWL will offer the first specified way of doing
expressive annotations and it would make no sense to do other than use
the facilities it offers, as owl:sameAs and owl:inverseFunctional are
used now. I expect that when the OBO ontologies are updated to use OWL
2 they will use the mechanism extensively.


On Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 6:14 PM, Richard Newman <> wrote:
> OWL 2 cuts this knot by allowing direct annotations of assertions, but I
> don't know a single customer who's thinking about using it (a chicken/egg
> problem). (For that matter, I don't know of any widespread deployments of
> OWL 1; the most common situation in my experience is RDFS + simple
> reasoning.)

Received on Tuesday, 10 February 2009 04:38:57 UTC