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Re: User Facing Documents

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 13:35:07 +0000
Message-Id: <780B309C-9117-46B9-A349-55AA802F7853@cs.man.ac.uk>
Cc: public-owl-wg@w3.org
To: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.rpi.edu>

On 2 Nov 2007, at 13:02, Jim Hendler wrote:
> snipping just to the key parts...

Likewise.

> 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

Ok, cool. Let's explore that.

[snip]
>> 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 don't *think* I did, but if I gave that impression, I didn't mean  
to. I shall take extra care not to in the future.

Deborah, as I understood, did argue this, and appealed to some  
considerations you raised (i.e., she thought, I think, that  
publishing descriptive documents early would avoid certain classes of  
negative impressions).

> - 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)

Indeed, and that's the course we're on. I disagreed with that, but I  
think it's mostly tactical, and I was happy to defer on this point.

>> 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

I didn't say that we did. This is a presentation of the kind of  
discussion that is likely to change my mind and thus reach consensus.  
If you don't want to reach consensus with me, ignore that.

> to do that anymore than you have to say exactly who you are  
> targeting with OWL 1.1 docs.

But I *do* present that, because I think it's helpful in reaching  
consensus.

>   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.

There's an obligation, as a group, to try to meet the expressed  
concerns of all members. I'm expressing a concern. I believe that the  
documents will not be particularly effective without some idea of the  
target audience (esp. since I've heard at least three target  
audiences as possibilities). Thus, I cannot support and may oppose  
documents that I think are not helpful. If I understood what  
audiences we were targeting, I think I would have an easier time,  
even if they weren't ideal.

I also want to *work* on such documents! But not if they are not, by  
intent, going to meet my needs!

> 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)

That's fine, but it's a little out of place in this discussion. What  
I put out is *my* concerns and tried to make clear what kinds of  
things would assuage them. People are free to ignore them, but then I  
think we'll have more rather than less trouble. YMMV

There is also an ethos at the W3C of attending to the general good  
rather than only member good. Now since acertaining the general good  
is tricky, that's subject to abuse and, in any case, much be balanced  
with one's member good. This is why I think, overall, it's better to  
strive for a default of neutral point of view, strong evidence based  
argument, devils advocacy, and narrow speech  rather than  
generalizing speech.

That is, I'd rather that brute assertions of interest be the last  
resort. Such assertions are legitimate, but I prefer it when we can  
reach things in other ways.

>> 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.
Received on Friday, 2 November 2007 13:33:50 GMT

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