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Re: Problems with the RDF Semantics document

From: Lee Feigenbaum <lee@thefigtrees.net>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2011 21:43:02 -0400
Message-ID: <4DACE8A6.8040405@thefigtrees.net>
To: nathan@webr3.org
CC: RDF Working Group WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>, Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, David Wood <david.wood@talis.com>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
(Commenting against my better judgment...)

On 4/18/2011 8:25 PM, Nathan wrote:

> frustrations. Pretty much every member of this WG who I've spoken to,
> read blogs and mails from, or seen commenting on things seems to want
> quite a bit more than we're chartered to do. But, like myself will also
> just stick to the charter and do what is deemed to be needed.

I am not only content with the scope of work that this group has 
accepted, but would be very concerned about the group taking on 
additional work. Based on my experience implementing Semantic Web 
standards, building software based on those implementations, and working 
in W3C working groups, I think making substantial changes to RDF would 
be a mistake.

Of course, I've said more than once that it's not my goal to "bring 
Semantic Web to the masses." I personally think that while that's a 
noble goal, it's not a realistic goal and it's definitely not a 
necessary goal for Semantic Web to be (very) successful. And if it were 
a goal of mine, I do not think that standards work would be a primary 
way to do it. (I'd prefer evangelism, building and promoting tools, and 
education.)

There are a lot of concrete work areas that you identify in your email: 
work on them! You can even work in them in the context of the W3C, 
either via SWIG (mailing list + IRC) or perhaps even via an XG. Work 
with the other people who share your vision to define and implement the 
pieces that seem to be missing. Or to catalog existing implementations 
that do similar things in different ways and would benefit from a 
standard. But, to me, all this is clearly work that should not be done 
in the RDF Working Group.

I believe that the Semantic Web is a powerful technology space _because_ 
different people have very different uses and visions for the 
technologies. That's a good thing. But it also means that likeminded 
people need to work together to find common ground and make progress, 
and those first steps are not well-suited for a standards group.

Lee
Received on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 01:43:34 GMT

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