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Fwd: my top 3 (was RE: Tech Plenary: agenda Best Practices)

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 11:37:12 -0500
Message-Id: <p0602040ebc63d1126cd3@[10.0.1.2]>
To: public-swbp-wg@w3.org
For the archives:


Now that I see BPD WG is official (yay!!) - I guess it's time to turn 
my brain in this direction.  Here's my top three (although I reserve 
the right to change my mind later and decide something else is more 
important than one of these)

1 - An alternate state of MIME
  The state of MIME types for RDF, RDF, OWL Lite, OWL DL, and OWL Full 
may need revisiting.  The new DAWG may be the place to do this, or it 
may be SWBP.   Currently, however, RDF and OWL documents are showing 
up as text, as xml, as RDF (a mime type not recognized by many 
browsers).  The bottom line is that MIME is horribly broken and 
should be fixed at a higher level, but for now we need to live with 
what is out there -- coming up with a stronger recommendation.  Part 
of this will be outreach to the browser folks to support us better 
(i.e. if we confirm our recommendation to use application/XML+RDF for 
all the languages, then it would be nice if browsers didn't barf on 
this)

2- Explain the mess we created
  For reasons that have as much to do with history and politics as 
anything else, we have created a muddle with RDF, RDFS, OWL Lite, OWL 
DL, and OWL Full all now being recommendations.  How does someone 
decide which to use and when?  How do we explain that OWL Full (which 
should be renamed "OWL") is really the "vocabulary" for OWL that can 
be used in any way compatible w/RDF, and that OWL DL (and Lite) are 
"profiles" that can be used when certain functionalities are needed. 
How do we better explain that an RDF-S document is in OWL Full (since 
it uses rdfs:Class instead of owl:Class) and that this is ok and to 
be expected.  In short, to make RDF-Schema and the OWL stuff work 
together in the world, instead of appearing to be competing in some 
sense, we need to explain this stuff to the world in a way that 
developers who aren't logicians can understand.

3 - N3 (turtle?) status upgrade
  Many of us use a portion of the N3 notation (basically what Dave 
Beckett has in  "turtle" [1]) when we use the RDF-family of 
langauges.  However, this notation is opposed by some who worry that 
it somehow endorses N3 as "the rules language" and/or that there's 
"no formal semantics" for N3.    I think that the SWBPD WG should 
take the issue of presentation syntax seriously, should endorse the 
non-rules subset of N3 as a useful and useable language for RDF+, and 
should produce a note (based on [1]) codifying this better, adding 
more information on the mapping, and making it easier for people to 
use RDF.

  -JH
p.s. while i'm at it - we should figure out how to tell when someone 
says "RDF" if they mean RDF, RDFS, OWL DL, OWL Lite and OWL Full, or 
if they just mean "RDF per se" -- the former is obviously more 
sensible, the latter, unfortunately, seems to be the practice -- so 
let's fix this as well...


[1] http://www.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/discovery/2004/01/turtle/
-- 

Professor James Hendler			  http://www.cs.umd.edu/users/hendler 
Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies	  301-405-2696
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.	  301-405-6707 (Fax)
Univ of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742	  240-277-3388 (Cell)



-- 
Professor James Hendler			  http://www.cs.umd.edu/users/hendler 
Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies	  301-405-2696
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.	  301-405-6707 (Fax)
Univ of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742	  240-277-3388 (Cell)
Received on Thursday, 26 February 2004 11:37:13 EST

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