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[p4-feedback] owl: prefix in OWL functional syntax

Timothy Redmond tredmond at
Fri Nov 15 09:15:50 PST 2013

Certain prefixes should probably be left alone.  These include for 
example, owl:, rdfs: and rdf:.  The namespaces associated with these 
prefixes play an important role in the rdfs serialization of OWL  2 
files.  These prefixes are expected to be set in a certain standard way 
in the rdfs serialization of OWL.  Changing these prefix declarations 
would probably cause confusion for ontology editors.  There are also 
statements in the OWL 2 syntax document indicating the standard 
namespaces associated with these prefixes are reserved and should not be 
used to name entities.

I would not be amazed if Protege does not let you change these 
prefixes.  I am also not sure if these prefixes are used in the OWL 
functional syntax.  Their use in rdfs is just a quirk of that particular 


On 11/15/2013 06:44 AM, Tom Kramer wrote:
> Hello OWL support -
> I am trying to improve my understanding of prefixes in OWL. I am 
> puzzled by observing that the owl: prefix is not used by Protege in 
> functional syntax notation. I spent about an hour looking for any 
> documentation of this and found none. I have two hypotheses:
> 1. The owl: prefix is required in functional syntax notation but 
> Protege does not use it (neither does the Manchester syntax 
> converter). In fact, Protege does not allow it, except that a Prefix 
> declaration of owl: is allowed.
> 2. The owl: prefix is not allowed in functional syntax notation 
> (except, possibly, that a Prefix declaration of owl: is allowed) but 
> that is not documented.
> Is either of these correct? If not, what is?
> Thanks.
> Tom Kramer
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