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RE: Explanation of the Network Inference DAWG Strawman Objection

From: Jeff Pollock <Jeff.Pollock@networkinference.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 07:53:58 -0700
Message-ID: <CFE388CECDDB1E43AB1F60136BEB497324AD84@rome.ad.networkinference.com>
To: "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>
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>


Thank you for the follow up, clarification, and linking to our objection
position in the FTF notes.

I have one point of confusion that I am hoping you would address:  

On Thursday, subsequent to the XQuery design discussion, and prior to
the strawman vote, Network Inference proposed a requirement and/or
objective that "the query language shall have an XQuery compatible
concrete language syntax."  This proposed requirement was voted on,
without approval. We then voted on it as an objective, with no approval.
We then went around the room seeking some semblance of consensus on the
wording of a loose XQuery objective, with no consensus.

Why are these not formal "rejections?"  Is there another process that we
should follow in order to officially be rejected?  

Unless I am badly confused (very possible!), the action item that Simon
took on was due to our inability to accept any mention of XQuery as
either a requirement or objective. We are primarily concerned with Phase
3, "Concrete Syntax" of this proposed specification, since this is the
primary level at which we are interested in the XQuery formalisms.
Overall, we look forward to the group's progress over the coming months
and will engage with Simon, Howard, Eric to position the XQuery action
item as a future candidate for a re-proposal of new requirements.

What are the milestones that you would like to see accomplished before
we raise the requirement to the working group once again?

For now, I would like the record to show that there was in fact a
rejection of both a requirement and an objective to include XQuery
support in this working group.

I am not intending to be obstinate only for the sake of being obstinate,
we take this process very seriously and are quite certain that our
position on XQuery is well worth defending and envisioning. Last week's
face to face was a crucial juncture in the working group's lifecycle,
and we are greatly disappointed in the continued lukewarm attitude
towards requiring an XQuery context to the strawman.

Many Kind Regards,


BTW: I do recognize the poor etiquette of including a broad cc list
herein, I will discontinue any further group posts after this, but
wanted to clarify that we the DAWG, in fact, did reject several attempts
to require or make an objective out of several flavors of XQuery
language in this working specification.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Connolly [mailto:connolly@w3.org] 
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2004 9:00 AM
To: Jeff Pollock
Cc: RDF Data Access Working Group; Eric Miller; Tim Berners-Lee; Steve
Bratt; Ralph R. Swick; Dan Brickley; Massimo Marchiori; Paul Cotton;
brian_mcbride@hp.com; Jim Hendler
Subject: Re: Explanation of the Network Inference DAWG Strawman

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
> Access Working Group (DAWG) voted to select a 'strawman proposal' to
> 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
> 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
> 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 Monday, 19 July 2004 10:56:40 UTC

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