W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-owl-wg@w3.org > November 2007

Re: User Facing Documents

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.rpi.edu>
Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 09:02:50 -0400
Message-Id: <1BCB7657-A3AF-4528-8856-2F720B07E4A0@cs.rpi.edu>
Cc: public-owl-wg@w3.org
To: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>

snipping just to the key parts...

On Nov 2, 2007, at 8:28 AM, Bijan Parsia wrote:

> I know you don't like the structural specification, but I don't  
> like either splitting it out or making the descriptive spec too  
> elaborate. As we disagree, I hope reasonably, there is some work to  
> be done to get consensus.

actually, the problem I have with the structural spec is precisely  
that it doesn't have a descriptive section (or sections).  I'm not at  
all opposed in principle to the idea that we could combine these -  
however, i do think we need to be sure that the OWL 1.0 reference and  
his correctly point at each other -- because otherwise we'll have a  
lot of duplication or, worse, ambiguity -- note that if you google  
for "OWL ontology" (the best way I have found to see the OWL Rec docs  
in Google) ref comes up hit 1 (if you just google for "owl" the only  
doc that comes up in the first couple pages is the overview) -  
implying that people are indeed linking to it (can't prove anyone  
reads it, but anecdotally I know that more people I talk to are  
familiar with Ref than with the others)

>> and the "user guide" -- I don't see where we have any choice on that.
> Similarly, we've not done *any* work to determine what the WG as a  
> whole would think is an acceptable and useful user guide. Some  
> people have expressed a desire for diff or near diff documents.  
> I've expressed some qualms at that.
> Both you and Jeremy (he in telecon) have tried to make the my  
> disagreement to be a matter of my ignoring the charter. Please stop  
> that. My current questions are about timing (I *don't* think it's  
> necessary or helpful to produce a *comprehensive* descriptive spec  
> before the design is done) and the form.

I think some of us want to coevolve the technical docs and the  
overview so that people trying to judge what the WG is doing can have  
an easier entree - but don't portray me as saying we need these same  
time or before the first WDs - I've not advocated that - I didn't  
object to the first three things being published being the formal  
docs and the RDF mapping, what I had problems with is doing it before  
the WG had really met, discussed and reviewed (or even worked out  
what the name will be)

> In fact, I've not heard a coherent description of the particular  
> form of the documents, or the users they are targeting. For  
> example, descriptive material targeting web developers, vs.  
> targeting triplestore authors, vs. targeting HCLS modelers can look  
> very different. Documents targeting one might be rather less  
> successful or even fail with others.

I don't think we have any obligation to do that anymore than you have  
to say exactly who you are targeting with OWL 1.1 docs.  The way I  
understand the WG process is we represent who we believe we  
represent, and we argue from that perspective - there's no obligation  
for more than that.  I can help write and/or review docs from that  
perspective, as can the rest of the WG - in fact, that's the  
obligation of WG members. i.e. the Oracle rep is responsible only for  
whether he/she thinks it meets Oracle's need, the HP rep for HP, etc.  
etc. -- (I know you know this, I'm just reminding some of the newer  
folks to the WG that they represent sectors as they see fit)

> Furthermore, Jeremy apparently is proposing producing Working  
> Drafts that aren't rec track, or submission track, but /dev/null/  
> track (i.e., deliberately designed to be dropped after one or two  
> versions). I'm not sure how I feel about that on several levels.

I don't know how I feel about it either - esp. as we do eventually  
have charter deliverables meaning that something has to be rec track.

anyway, I think from this you see we're closer than we thought, so  
that's probably good news

> Cheers,
> Bijan.

"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would  
it?." - Albert Einstein

Prof James Hendler				http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~hendler
Tetherless World Constellation Chair
Computer Science Dept
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY 12180
Received on Friday, 2 November 2007 13:03:04 UTC

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