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Re: Question on API paper

From: Raphaël Troncy <Raphael.Troncy@cwi.nl>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 17:31:44 +0200
Message-ID: <48F75E60.3030704@cwi.nl>
To: Felix Sasaki <fsasaki@w3.org>
CC: public-media-annotation@w3.org

Hi Felix,

> I know this sounds probably boring, but I still have
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-media-annotation/2008Sep/0045.html 
> and issue 6113 in mind, where Dave pointed out that having a small set 
> of tags as a result of our work would be useful.

Hum, this is not boring but a proper way to record and address the 
issues :-) So, I think our problem here is a terminological one.

The term 'ontology' can be perceived as scary, more precisely as 
something by nature complex and that we -- ''hackers and developers'' -- 
do no want to use. Well, this is simply a fallacy. Is Dublin Core 
complex? No, it is not ... It is even often criticized as being too 
simplistic, but the pragmatics will say this is the good least common 
denominator of requirements and many formats.

This group can deliver a Dublin Core for video, a minimal set of 
properties for describing several aspects of videos on the web that I 
would even classify into 5 categories: descriptive, technical and 
structural, management, administrative and rights (order has no 
importance). Some, will just point to placeholder where the group could 
recommend to use standard a or b (e.g. the rights issue).

I personally do not like to use the term 'tag' in this context, for all 
what it presupposes (anarchy).

> In terms of the API, 
> for me that would translate to an API that may be related to the 
> ontology, but "must" (as a very strong requirement) be useable without  
> any  relation to the ontology. If we want to have widespread adoption in 
> the browser community, the ordinary web developer needs to be able to 
> execute the operations we are talking about (query, update, ...) without 
> any knowledge  about the ontology.

I don't see how the API could be _not_ related to the ontology. I 
thought the purpose of the API is to read/write metadata that conforms 
to the ontology.

Hiding the ontology to the user and even the programmer is a different 
matter, that does not mean the ontology does not exist. Educating people 
for showing them that 'ontology' does not equal 'complexity' is also 
something that the group might do, providing examples and guidelines.


Raphaël Troncy
CWI (Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science),
Kruislaan 413, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
e-mail: raphael.troncy@cwi.nl & raphael.troncy@gmail.com
Tel: +31 (0)20 - 592 4093
Fax: +31 (0)20 - 592 4312
Web: http://www.cwi.nl/~troncy/
Received on Thursday, 16 October 2008 15:32:31 UTC

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