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Re: Explanation of the Network Inference DAWG Strawman Objection

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 11:00:02 -0500
To: Jeff Pollock <Jeff.Pollock@networkinference.com>
Cc: RDF Data Access Working Group <public-rdf-dawg@w3.org>, Eric Miller <em@w3.org>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Steve Bratt <steve@w3.org>, "Ralph R. Swick" <swick@w3.org>, Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>, Massimo Marchiori <massimo@w3.org>, Paul Cotton <pcotton@microsoft.com>, brian_mcbride@hp.com, Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Message-Id: <1090080002.14421.287.camel@dirk>

As an explanation of Network Inference's position, this
is fine. But in a few places, it goes beyond that and reports
on the proceedings of the group. While the minutes
(http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/DataAccess/ftf2#min) are
still in preparation, I'd like to clarify a few points.

On Fri, 2004-07-16 at 14:42, Jeff Pollock wrote:
> Dear WG Members, W3C Leadership et al,
> At a face-to-face meeting in Carlsbad, CA on 15 July, 2004, the RDF Data
> Access Working Group (DAWG) voted to select a 'strawman proposal' to be
> used as the basis for continuing standardization work. Several
> XQuery-based approaches had been suggested to the group (including the
> 'XQuery as a strawman' option suggested by the group's charter).

To be clear about approaches versus detailed technical proposals,
note the WG discussions covered a number of technical proposals.

As this message is sent to several people who have not pariticipated
in the Working Group discussions, I note that the level of detail
and maturity of the proposals varies considerably and invite them
to take a look.

The XQuery section of the charter
also cites TreeHugger and XQuery with Functional Accessors,
which have been discussed in passing.

> However, none have generated significant interest among group members
> other than Network Inference and invited expert to the group Howard
> Katz. 

Note that Simon Raboczi of Tucana Technologies accepted an action to
"write a document discussing tradeoffs with adapting XQuery as an RDF
query language".

> Network Inference has suggested that a reduction in scope to a simple
> objective that the DAWG language be compatible with the XQuery surface
> language.
>  Such an approach would allow implementations which support the
> limited algebra of the DAWG language fragment, while also providing
> users the opportunity to more fully integrate the two languages.
> Additionally, agreement on an XQuery surface language approach would
> provide a foundation upon which to build further query interfaces to OWL
> and an eventual Rules layer. 
> Despite this compromise, the working group outright rejected any
> requirement or objective which expressed any commitment, at any level,
> to XQuery.

The working group has neither adopted nor rejected an XQuery-related
requirement or objective.

Not deciding to do something is different from deciding not
to do something.

Most of the requirements and objectives the working group
has adopted were discussed over a period of weeks or months
before they were adopted.

This proposal arrived on Thursday, during the meeting

> We believe that the DAWG working group is making an egregious error by
> rejecting any level of commitment to XQuery at this critical juncture.
> By choosing to move forward without any requirement or objective to take
> this specification towards XQuery compatibility, the group not only
> ignores a specific mandate in their own charter, but also risks
> producing yet another query specification that could be deemed
> irrelevant by major vendors.

Again, the working group has made no decision to move forward
without XQuery. On the contrary, there are recorded action items,
such as the one above, that document the group's intention to
continue this discussion.


Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Saturday, 17 July 2004 11:59:33 UTC

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