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OWL, which is an acronym for the Web Ontology Language is basically a family of various knowledge representations which allows one to author ontologies on the internet. This is a W3C endorsed language that is based on 2 separate semantics which are almost entirely compatible. Of these two semantics, OWL DL and the OWL Lite represent the Desciption Logics while OWL fully makes use of novel semantics. When developing in this language, one must use the RDF/XML syntax.

Ontological development on the internet goes back to the beginning of the World Wide Web. Back in the early 1990s, various research efforts were put forth to develop knowledge representation from artificial intelligence. The first types of ontology developments were SHOE for HTML as well as XOL for XML.

By 2001, the W3C created what became known as the Web Ontology Working Group which was ran by Guus Schreiber as well as James Hendler in an attempt to create a workable abstract syntax for the development of ontologies on the web. By 2002, their job was completed and they were prepared to submit OWL to the W3C who would formalise OWL in 2004. However, that same year the working group was also completely disbanded meaning that there would be no future updates expected for it.

While there are many websites and other developments that today make use of OWL, it is relatively unknown by the vast majority of developers. This language allows for the development of relational distinctions of classes and while this may not be used in the average web development, when it comes to the biomedical fields it gets used heavily. However, due to the ability to develop relational fields, there may be some future use of this program as an artificial auto complete script for web site searching and more.

Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 04/03/2009

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