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Re: What should I use: RDF, DAML+OIW, OWL, XTP, Future Ontology Spec...

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2003 16:33:18 -0400
Message-Id: <p05200f02babf785d2769@[]>
To: <jimbobbs@hotmail.com>, <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>

At 3:47 PM -0400 4/13/03, Jimmy Cerra wrote:
>Ack!  There seems to be an explosion of Semantic Web standards being
>created.  The extreme genesis of the different specifications is making
>the decision to use one difficult.  What should I use?  RDF is the most
>widely used (thanks to RSS).  DAML+OWL provides a lot of missing
>features.  However, OWL will soon supplement DAML.  Still, RDF - and to
>a lesser extent DAML - are current standards and are implemented in a
>variety of applications.  Then there are Topic Maps, another 'mature'
>specification in a parallel domain as the W3C's efforts.  Finally, XLink
>also seems to provide an ad-hoc method to encode the Semantic Graphs
>between resources.
>I reiterate, what should I use?  Should I use OWL since for future
>compatibility?  Should I use RDF since it's the most widely used?  How
>about Topic Maps or XLinks?
>This TLA soup of the Semantic Web is driving me crazy.  I'm tempted to
>eschew everything in favor of SVG and encode the graphs as graphics!!!
>(I'm just joking... ;)
>Can anyone help me put all of this into perspective?
>James F. Cerra

James -
  while your confusion is understandable, the answer is easier than 
you might think.  You see, RDF, RDF Schema, and OWL are really all 
the same thing -- that is, RDF is the language of the Semantic Web, 
RDF Schema adds vocabulary to that which allows one to express 
certain relations, and OWL adds to that in turn.  So any OWL document 
is, by definition, an RDF document.  If you want the functionality 
offered by OWL (summarized in the OWL Overview document [1]) then you 
will use RDF to encode it (or some tool which generates it). Lots of 
examples can be found in the OWL Guide [2] which will help you get 
  You also have the option to live completely in the XML world, with 
XTM and Xlinks and Xquery, and Xpath, and XML schema, and using DTDs 
and -- gee, I guess that side of things is even more confusing (and 
you won't be in the Sem Web world either)
  DAML+OIL is a predecessor to OWL which is being replaced by OWL, so 
it would not be the langauge of choice at this point
  Hope all this helps
  Jim H
p.s. Above  is my personal opinion,. noy any sort of official statement

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/owl-features/
[2]  http://www.w3.org/TR/owl-guide/
Professor James Hendler				  hendler@cs.umd.edu
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	  240-731-3822 (Cell)
Received on Sunday, 13 April 2003 16:33:37 UTC

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