Backward compatibility audit

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The charter strongly encourages backwards compatibility.

Backwards compatibility with OWL is of great importance. For each new feature, if there is doubt or a perceived problem with respect to this issue, the guideline should be to not include the feature in the set of extensions.

While OWL 1.1 was designed with the intent of backwards compatibility and that seems largely true, but we need to verify and either correct incompatibilitiess or document them (if the group decides it's worth it).


We need to come to a definition of what backwards compatibility means. If you have a definition to offer, please list it below.

  • It's backward compatible if the test suite for OWL 1.0 gives the same answers when interpreted against the OWL 1.1 spec (and OWL1.1 compliant implementations) - Ivan Herman
  • Every OWL 1.1 ontology can be serialized in RDF, so every OWL 1.1 ontology in RDF is a valid OWL Full ontology. The RDF syntax of OWL 1.1 is backwards-compatible with OWL DL, this is, every OWL DL ontology in RDF is a valid OWL 1.1 ontology. OWL 1.1 member submission Mapping to RDF Graphs
  • OWL 1.1 ontologies that do not use any features specific to OWL 1.1 are legal OWL DL ontologies. Mentioned here

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