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Re: RDFS comments

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@mitre.org>
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 18:31:50 -0500
Message-ID: <3E580866.8000300@mitre.org>
To: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@isr.umd.edu>
CC: www-rdf-comments@w3.org


Thanks for the comments.  Although your comments are explicitly 
addressed to RDFS, in the process you've made some comments about the 
Primer, so I'm responding to those comments as Primer editor.  I'll 
leave it to others to respond regarding the RDFS document. 
Specifically, I want to more precisely identify the changes you think 
would help improve the Primer.

Bijan Parsia wrote:

> Aside from the semantic and layering issues, I recently had the 
> experience of seeing an ontology novice try to write two ontologies for 
> a domain, on in RDFS and one in OWL (lite, it so happens). Some common 
> good ontology practices (such as favoring local property restritictions 
> over global ones) are impossible in RDFS due to the lack of requisite 
> constructs (someValuesFrom, etc.), but one can kinda simulate them 
> through a property inheritance tree (e.g., subclassing dc:title to make 
> the fact that such and such a class "should" have a title). Is there 
> really a point to having an ontology sublanguage that has such a weird 
> expressiveness profile? As a core vocabulary/semantics?
> Section 5.3 of the Primer goes further: it discusses the global nature 
> of domain and range, but without acknowleging that 1) such globalness is 
> dangerous and often unwise to exploit, 2) that OWL has local restrictions.

Actually, the fourth paragraph of 5.3, when talking about the "RDF 
property-based approach", ends by saying "Of course, this is a "benefit" 
which must be used with care, to insure that properties are not 
mis-applied in inappropriate situations."  Are you suggesting this 
should be elaborated a bit?  While I don't think it appropriate to 
elaborate on this very much (since the Primer is not intended to be a 
general tutorial on design practices), if you had a "favorite example" 
that concisely illustrated the problem,  I'd be happy to consider adding 
it.  Assuming that local restrictions were illustrated at this point, a 
mention of OWL (and section 5.5) here would also be appropriate

> Indeed, in section 5.5 of the primer, local property restrictions are 
> conspicuously absent.

The list of features here is not intended to be exhaustive.  However, 
you raise a good point, and I'll add a mention of local property 


Thanks again.


Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
202 Burlington Road, MS A345   Bedford, MA 01730-1420
mailto:fmanola@mitre.org       voice: 781-271-8147   FAX: 781-271-875
Received on Saturday, 22 February 2003 18:12:14 UTC

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