Re: new walkthrough

From: pat hayes (
Date: 03/21/01

I have some questions about the walk-through (Im drafting a number of 
changes to the English, but I noticed this on the way:)

1. The document says

Note that this (imports) tag is an empty element; the same tag starts 
and ends the element, denoted by the trailing "/" just before the 
closing ">".

but in fact there is no  / just before the closing > in that tag.

2. I think we should abandon the usage 'abstract class' , and in fact 
the entire notion of data being 'abstract'. It is very odd to read 
that the class of animals is an 'abstract class'. (Tell that to my 

3. The document says:
<daml:Class rdf:ID="Animal">

This asserts that there is an abstract class known as Animal. It 
doesn't say anything else about animal other than specifying an 
identifier. It is also not
(necessarily) the sole source of information about Animals; we will 
see below how we can add to a definition made elsewhere.

However, by saying that its ID is Animal, we make it possible for 
others to refer to the definition of Animal we're giving here. (This 
is done using the uri of
the containing page followed by #Animal.)

     This class of animals is illustrative of a number of ontological idioms.

These two lines introduce a label -- a brief identifier of the 
enclosing element, suitable for graphical representations of RDF, 
etc. -- and a comment -- a natural
language (English, in this case) description of the element within 
which it is included. Neither a label nor a comment contributes to 
the logical interpretation of
the language.
Question: since we have rdf:ID="Animal" in the opening tag, why do we 
need to say that the rdfs:label is also "Animal" ? This seems 
redundant. Which of these two is the one that actually attaches the 
name 'Animal' to the class for purposes of #-subscripting? Or must 
one write both? (If so that is DUMB.) If it is not redundant (for 
some reason connected with the rdf/rdfs distinction which is opaque 
to me) could the rdf:ID and the rdfs:label be different? If so, we 
should actually have them as being different in the example, to make 
the point. If not, we should say something about whatever the 
brain-damaged reason is for having to say the same thing twice. 
Either way it isn't good enough to just say that the label 'makes it 
possible for others to refer', since the rdf:ID does that already.

More later.

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