replay of message to webont re working on the language

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider (
Date: 12/11/01

As promised here is the message I sent out webont concerning changes to
DAML+OIL.  I'm also interested in joint committee members who want to put
significant work into this effort.


		Changes needed in DAML+OIL

I am concerned that the group is not working on the ontology language
itself.  There are a number of changes that need to be done to DAML+OIL,
largely because of changes that have happened since DAML+OIL was designed. 
These changes will have to be done no matter what the details of the new
language are, unless the group decides to junk DAML+OIL completely and
start over with a clean slate.

1/ Semantics

   The model theory for DAML+OIL predates the new model theory for RDF.  I
   think that the model theory for DAML+OIL needs to be updated to more in
   tune with the new model theory for RDF.

2/ Syntax

   Changes to the model theory for DAML+OIL may make a different syntax for
   DAML+OIL more attractive, or, alternatively, make the current syntax
   less attractive.  I think that it would be better to divide DAML+OIL
   into two parts---the RDF part and the non-RDF part.  The RDF part would,
   I think, best retain the RDF syntax, but the non-RDF part might be
   better put in a different syntax.

3/ Datatypes

   Datatypes in DAML+OIL also predate datatypes in RDF.  Further, one goal
   of the datatype treatment in DAML+OIL was to end up with an
   RDF-compatible syntax.  I think that the treatment of datatypes in
   DAML+OIL should be readdressed now, as the RDF Core Working Group is
   addressing datatypes in RDF, so that any issues with datatypes in
   DAML+OIL can be determined and brought to the attention of the RDF Core
   Working Group.

I am volunteering to work on all three of these topics, and, moreover, to
do whatever coordination is needed to get others who will put significant
work into these topics to work well together.  The goal would be to put
something together at least one week before the face-to-face so that the
entire working group can discuss it at the face-to-face.

Who else is interested in doing significant work on this?

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research

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