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Web Ontology Working Group Consensus Review of RDF Core documents

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 17:17:56 -0500
Message-Id: <p05200f01ba7b0345cb0e@[]>
To: www-rdf-comments@w3.org

The Web Ontology Working Group (WOWG) resolved by consensus today, to 
send the following response to the RDF Core WG on the documents we 
were asked to review:

RDFCore LC documents
Response by the Web Ontology Working Group
20 Feb 2003

WOWG comments on RDF language decisions

i. Design of rdf:XMLLiteral and rdf:parseType="Literal":

The full integration of this feature of RDF into OWL necessitates that the
denotation in the domain of discourse be fully defined by the source RDF/XML
file. We therefore request that you remove sufficient implementation 
variability to ensure that this is the case.  An example fix would be 
to require an RDF/XML parser to use a specific canonicalization on 

ii.Constraints on rdf:parsetype="Collection"

We would prefer that rdf:parsetype="Collection" would be allowed to 
be a list of datatype literals, not just a list of RDF node elements. 
This, would permit some constructs in OWL that are difficult under 
the current design.

WOWG comments on the RDF Concepts Document

We believe the RDF Concepts Document is a useful document and helpful 
in understanding RDF and its use.  However, out Working Group did 
have some concerns with respect to the issue of social meaning as 
discussed in this document.

The Web Ontology WG has mixed views on this issue and could not agree 
on a specific consensus response in the time available.  However, we 
note that a number of participants in the Web Ontology WG have 
serious reservations about the RDF view on the social meaning of RDF.

We did reach consensus to request that the wording in the RDF Schema 
and the RDF Concepts documents be rephrased to explain this issue, 
and particularly its impact, more clearly, as this has ramifications 
on other languages, such as OWL, which are extensions to RDF.

WOWG comments on the RDF Schema Document
We believe that the design of the language, as reflected in the LC 
documents, is such that OWL can appropriately use RDF Schema and 
endorse this design.

Raphael Volz of our group has prepared a detailed review of this 
document which he will send to the RDF Core WG.  The Web Ontology 
Working Group agrees with the spirit of his review (except for the 
comments on section 4, which was only supported by part of the WG). 
We summarize our main comments below:

i. Although this document is called RDF Schema we think that the 
title "RDF Vocabulary Description Language" would be clearer, and 
make the difference from XML Schema (used for validation) more 

ii. Although we did not reach consensus on this, several members felt 
that it was unacceptable that two graphs that differ only in their 
rdfs:comment content would not entail each other.

WOWG comments on the RDF Semantics document
We believe that the intended design of the semantics, as reflected in 
the LC documents, is such that OWL will be able to layer 
appropriately. However, we have a number of concerns that need to be 
addressed to improve the document and, in particular, to fix some 
apparent inconsistencies in the current document.

Herman ter Horst of our group has prepared a detailed review of this 
document itemizing inconsistencies he has found.  The Web Ontology WG 
has asked Herman and the editor of our Semantics Document (Peter 
Patel-Schneider) to help insure that the final RDF Semantics document 
fixes the inconsistencies and editorial issues that are identified.

Submitted - 2/20/2003
J. Hendler
Co-Chair, WOWG
Received on Thursday, 20 February 2003 17:18:20 UTC

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