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FW: Trying to summarise: Semantic free identifiers

From: Michel_Dumontier <Michel_Dumontier@carleton.ca>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 09:31:17 -0400
To: HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
Message-ID: <E1784B0107E5634C8997868083EDE7806125705B3B@CCSMBX10.CUNET.CARLETON.CA>
Reposting to the list:

> >>> Honestly, I read this stuff and I'm thinking that you aren't listening
> >>> to what you are saying and applying even a minimal amount of critical
> >>> analysis to relate working with RDF to any other kind of skilled
> >>> labor.
> >>
> >>  Most skilled workers want to achieve acceptable results with minimum
> >> effort. I just don't see prevention of stale identifiers being high on
> >> the list of priorities for most software developers.
> >
> > No, because their incentives are not aligned with making the global
> > web of data really work. But for consumers of this information it is a
> > high priority.
> 
>   The consumers that I know clearly prefer meaningful ids. The
> consumers I know learn RDF by downloading an XML/RDF file, opening it
> with WordPad, and then digging their way through it with paper and
> pencil. I suppose the consumers you know are very different. But
> anyway, I still don't get what it is that does not work due to
> meaningful ids.

It's probably not unlike how biologists prefer to use spreadsheets. And for this:

http://www.sysmo-db.org/rightfield

simple tools can make a world of difference in terms of adoption and productivity with an underlying technology.

I think the core problem is that simple (easy to use with no training) tools are either not well known or just aren't where they need to be to manage rdf/owl content (which is also non-trivial in terms of HCI).  That people want to work with URIs directly (as opposed to the semantic content they offer) is a clear symptom of this observation.  Perhaps the HCLS should consider forming a tooling group - so as to make strides in this direction.

Best,

m.
Received on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 13:31:06 UTC

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