LC2 Responses/JC3

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To: jeremy@topquadrant.com
CC: public-owl-comments@w3.org
Subject: [LC response] To Jeremy Carroll

Dear Jeremy,

Thank you for your comment
     <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-owl-comments/2009May/0014.html>
on the OWL 2 Web Ontology Language last call drafts.

Concerning the Manchester Syntax:

The fact that the Working Group is leaving the Manchester Syntax document as a Note and is not planning on turning it into a recommendation does not mean that the Manchester Syntax document is informative as far as the Manchester Syntax is concerned. To the contrary, the Manchester Syntax document is just as normative for the Manchester Syntax as the W3C Team Submissions on Turtle (http://www.w3.org/TeamSubmission/turtle/) and N3 (http://www.w3.org/TeamSubmission/n3/) are for Turtle and N3, and has just as much reason for providing a MIME type as they do. As the Manchester Syntax was already in use (and even in some use as a syntax for entire OWL ontologies), the Working Group felt that there was no downside in having a Working Group note on a Manchester Syntax for OWL 2.

Concerning the new XML Serialization:

The Working Group is firmly convinced that the new XML Serialization will be a net gain for OWL, as it will allow better integration of OWL into the XML tool chain. The Working Group did discuss the pain involved in having another syntax for OWL, but decided that this pain was acceptable, particularly as the Working Group will be providing GRDDL methods for turning documents in the XML Serialization into RDF as part of the implementation activities during the Candidate Recommendation period. This should mean that there is no reduction in the practial interoperability between OWL and RDF, as RDF tools will be able to easily obtain an RDF version of any document using the XML Serialization. This situation is indeed better than before, as the XML Serialization for OWL 1 does not have a GRDDL transform.

Please acknowledge receipt of this email to <mailto:public-owl-comments@w3.org> (replying to this email should suffice). In your acknowledgment please let us know whether or not you are satisfied with the working group's response to your comment.

Regards,
Peter F. Patel-Schneider
on behalf of the W3C OWL Working Group



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Again, following on from earlier comments, we are not at all convinced by the WG position on alternative syntaxes:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-owl-comments/2009Mar/0050.html

[[

Manchester Syntax: This is not a Last Call Working Draft, and the working group has decided that it will not be part of the recommendation but will be published as a working group note. It may be worth pointing out, however, that it is widely used, e.g., in TopBraid Composer, the Protege editor and the OWL 2 Primer.

OWL/XML: It should be noted that RDF/XML is the only syntax that MUST be supported by implementations; support for the XML syntax is not required (see also FH3). The XML syntax is motivated by the desire to support OWL users who want better interoperability with XML based tools and languages, for example WSDL. An additional benefit is that XML data can be exposed to RDF/OWL applications using GRDDL (see [15]). We will extend NF&R to better motivate the need for an XML syntax. ]]

And the table at http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-owl2-overview-20090421/#Syntaxes

1) The idea that a syntax for which a mimetype is registered is informative seems like double-think and playing a game with different venues. e.g. the following mimetype registration document clearly is intended to be read as normative, and would be an appropriate normative reference http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc4374.txt

2) It is well known that increasing options decreases interoperability http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/REC-qaframe-spec-20050817/#option


In particular, we see OWL/XML as likely to reduce practical interoperability between OWL and RDF systems and this loss will outweigh any benefit.

Again, this is a matter we will take forward to formal objection.

Jeremy Carroll, AC Rep, TopQuadrant