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Re: Re 2: Agenda for 19 Sep 2012

From: Steve Harris <steve.harris@garlik.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 10:30:31 +0100
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfpschneider@gmail.com>, "public-rdf-wg@w3.org Group WG" <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <023214B4-888F-435D-B454-8B014BC52704@garlik.com>
To: David Wood <david@3roundstones.com>
On 18 Sep 2012, at 22:40, David Wood wrote:
>> 
>> I would like some guidance on how far we are supposed to dumb down for the "casual" user, which I take it means the user who can't be bothered (or maybe hasn't the capacity) to actually read the specs.  
> 
> There is clearly no reason to dumb down the specs for someone who won't read them.
> 
> Writing specs for those who don't have the capacity is a (much) trickier problem, though.  Interop was necessary to ensure that very smart people who had TCP/IP implementations could work with each other.  A difference in interpretation is not necessarily the same as a lack of capacity.
> 
> It is best to be clear in prose, brief in math and provide some non-normative examples.  *shrug*

TCP/IP is a very good example. I've used, and implemented things on top of TCP/IP many times, and even read a book on the subject, but never read any of the specs. If it's a requirement for users of RDF to read the model theory (I don't believe it is) then this WG is a waste of time.

If it's a requirement on developers of RDF storage engines, parsers etc, then that's fine, though I suspect authors of many systems in use today haven't read it. It's not written in especially engineer-friendly language*.

* I don't even think that's necessarily a problem - the SQL specs as a counter example are more engineer friendly, but consequently are extremely verbose, and it's hard to pin down the precise intention in some places.

- Steve

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Received on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 09:30:57 GMT

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