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Re: comment on answer to comment... (OW/XML)

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.manchester.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 20:03:09 +0000
Message-Id: <E1B6B16E-A945-402F-B3AA-3BC8ECC78FEE@cs.manchester.ac.uk>
To: W3C OWL Working Group <public-owl-wg@w3.org>
On 28 Feb 2009, at 18:27, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:

> So I had a look at what is said about Recommendations:
>
> "A W3C Recommendation is a specification or set of guidelines that,
> after extensive consensus-building, has received the endorsement of
> W3C Members and the Director. W3C recommends the wide deployment of
> its Recommendations. Note: W3C Recommendations are similar to the
> standards published by other organizations."
>
> I think the hangup is the part about "recommends the wide deployment".
> It is on this matter that the WG does not have consensus.

Really? Who formally objects?

Are you speaking as chair? You, qua chair, have acertained that OWL/ 
XML as a recommendation does not enjoy group consensus? That actually  
seems to be exactly what it has, given that it was voted to go to last  
call.

> We all agree
> that it is a specification that has undergone extensive
> consensus-building (at least within the WG), and that it is "similar
> to the standards published by other organizations".
>
> I think the consensus is that this is really important for Bijan and
> perhaps a few others and he has hopes of it becoming widely used, and
> that we committed the time to evaluating and reviewing and improving
> the document.
>
> I wonder whether it is the "recommends the wide deployment" aspect
> that our critics are complaining about. If so, I don't know how to
> effectively counter this.

I think it would be very strange if someone was concerned that we  
recommended that a technology which we believe is technically sound be  
widely deployed. If there were close overlap between the two, then  
that might be a worry, but they are very different with different  
markets, etc. (Indeed, this could be a reason for not standardizing a  
Turtle version of OWL.)

Of course, our conformance clause requires that tools at least produce  
and consume the RDF/XML syntax, so that's ok.

So let's imagine a scenario. Let's say that OWL/XML proved to be  
enormously popular. The use of OWL/XML took off exponentially. Let's  
say that a year from now there was more OWL/XML out there than FOAF.

(Ok, it's not super plausible :), but let's speculate.)

What's the problem with that? You can still easily process all that  
OWL with your RDF tools, so no one's shut out.

On the flipside, it's hard to see how it helps RDF or the semantic web  
to furiously oppose an XML toolchain friendly XML format. I mean,  
imagine the dialog:

"The must be no OWL/XML."
"Why?"
"Because the semantic web requires only RDF/XML."
"Is OWL/XML required?"
"No...but it shouldn't be *recommended*."
"Can I do meaning XPath/XQuery queries or XSLT transforms with RDF/XML"
"Not in any sane way."
"Is OWL/XML incompatible with RDF?"
"No, there's a fully speced transformation both ways."
"So....why remain incompatible with/hostile to all the XML  
technologies at the W3C?"
"Semantic Web Archtitecture"

This is *not* a good line, IMHO. I'd rather we didn't go there. I'd  
much rather go to the place where OWL/XML is a nice bridge to the XML  
world and offers a smooth path to and from XML and RDF based  
technologies.

Cheers,
Bijan.
Received on Saturday, 28 February 2009 20:03:45 GMT

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