To: Jonathan Rees <Jonathan Rees>
Subject: [LC response] To Jonathan Rees
Thank you for your comment
on the OWL 2 Web Ontology Language last call drafts.
Thank you for pointing out some drawbacks in the definitions in Section 2.1. We have rewritten the section slightly in hope that this has made the definitions clearer. We have replaced "elements of the structural specification" by "instances of the various UML classes" -- the latter notion is precisely defined in UML. Please note, however, that the notion of the structural specification is not defined by UML: it is "proprietary" to OWL 2 and amounts to the well-known notion of deep equality. To make the definition clearer, we have removed phrases like "can be considered to be equal" and have presented the definition in terms of the notions available from UML.
The definition of the ontology is normative, and it is part of the structural specification: it defines the term "ontology" by placing some restrictions on an instance of the UML class "Ontology". It is common practice to describe conditions on UML structures in English, and our document just follows this common practice.
The OMG's reference for UML is the only normative definition of UML we are aware of. There are many other, more user-friendly descriptions of UML and readers are more than welcome to consult them; however, from a specification point of view, we believe that citing the official UML standard is more appropriate.
The notions of abstract classes and of class instantiation are both available in UML. It is true that the two notions coincide with the ones used in object-oriented programming; however, in our specification we are merely using the terminology defined by UML.
We do not intend to provide an OWL version of the UML diagrams, at least not as a normative part of our specification.
The following URI summarizes the changes to the Syntax document that were introduced to address your comment:
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