Re: Joint Committee telecon tomorrow 8 May

From: Dieter Fensel (
Date: 05/07/01

Hi all,

I will not be able to make it for the phone conference, however, I would
like to input three major issues concerning DAML+OIL I have (based on
various discussions at WWW10).

1. Frame-based look and feel

One of the major design decision in OIL was to make it look frame-like.
Frames offer a modeling paradigm that helps user to write knowledge
models and that helps tool builder in coming up with nice interfaces.
This idea seems to got lost in the DAML+OIL transformation.

2. Layered Language Architecture

In OIL, we had the idea of a layered language architecture. This has
several advantages:

         - Applications and tools do not need to support the full-fledged
         language in cases it is an over-kill.
         - By proper upwards-compartibility, tools at the lower level
         understand at least parts of the knowledge models from higher
         - You have well-defined names and definitions for sub-languages.

Stefan raised this point earlier and I would recommend to go for it in
DAML+OIL, too. Otherwise you either will make tool development
very difficult or you end up with a bunch of tools that each support
different (and not very well-defined) subsets of the language. By giving
subsets a name, a clear definition, and an inclusion order you may
end up in a much better world.

Even in case a sublanguage may have from a logical point of view
the same expressiveness this still makes much sense. Two languages
that may look the same for reasoning support tools may look
very different for editors when the syntax of one is simplified.

3. The name "D"AML+OIL

After two weeks reading newspapers from China I really wonder whether
the "D" in DAML+OIL is such a good move for an international used



Dieter Fensel
Division of Mathematics & Computer Science,
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,
De Boelelaan 1081a, 1081 HV Amsterdam, NL
The Netherlands
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