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Re: [SE] Ontology Driven Architecture Note

From: Jeff Z. Pan <jpan@csd.abdn.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2005 19:22:58 -0000
Message-ID: <00db01c5ebac$54efc870$d3d7858b@Newton>
To: "Jim Hendler" <hendler@cs.umd.edu>, "Phil Tetlow" <philip.tetlow@uk.ibm.com>
Cc: "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>, "best-practice list" <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>, <danbri@w3.org>

> I understand your point and think we may well have a compromise – Ill ask
> Jeff Pan to update the document to read “Semantic (Intra) Web’s”, if that’s
> OK with you?



Jim, many thanks for your constructive comments.


Dr. Jeff Z. Pan (http://www.csd.abdn.ac.uk/~jpan/)
Department of Computing Science, The University of Aberdeen

> You raise another interesting and important point though. I personally know
> of a good handful for applications for RDF, OWL and even SWRL that do not
> directly relate to any ‘Web’, or intranet,  context, so should such
> practices be discouraged from a standards perspective, or even for the sake
> of preserving an absolute reference description of the Semantic Web? I
> guess the only real answer is “no” given that the same could be said of
> older Web technologies like HTML. Nevertheless I do think it is important
> to point out somewhere that Sem Web technologies can be extremely powerful
> if applied properly, and equally so in cases of misapplication.
> As for your point on Sem Web use cases not incorporating RDF or OWL etc, I
> think I agree but am not quite sure yet….In the Software Engineering
> Workshop at ISWC, for example, we had a guy point out that the latest
> version of Java is capable of consuming/using ‘metaobjects’ (forgive me for
> being vague as I have not looked up the specifics yet and am just referring
> to the raw concept here) and I guess that as long as such objects used URI
> conventions based around some triple-based graph scheme, regardless of the
> nomenclature in which they were instantiated, I can already see a potential
> for the creation of some powerful ‘interfaces’ to the Sem Web world without
> the use of any of its base language set – I guess my point is that if the
> architecture of a use case is correct, the implementation technologies
> behind it become less important (but I have never been too sure about such
> philosophical matters! ;0)). I know that this is not the same as saying
> that something is applicable to the Semantic Web even if it does not
> contain any trace of its heritage (for example I saw a presentation at ISWC
> on logic compression that I did not consider to be overly relevant), but I
> do think that there are some issues here that we may have to think about.
> Again your thoughts would indeed be valued.
> Best Regards,
> Philip Tetlow
> Senior Consultant (Certified Technical Architect)
> IBM Business Consulting Services
> Mail: IBM United Kingdom Limited, 1175 Century Way, Thorpe Park, Colton,
> Leeds, LS15 8ZB
> Current Assignment: DWP BPRP (Metadata)
> Mobile: +44 (0)7740 923328
> Email: philip.tetlow@uk.ibm.com
>             Jim Hendler                                                   
>             <hendler@cs.umd.e                                             
>             du>                                                        To 
>                                       Phil Tetlow/UK/IBM@IBMGB            
>             15/11/2005 02:37                                           cc 
>                                       Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>,     
>                                       "best-practice list"                
>                                       <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>,            
>                                       danbri@s3.org                       
>                                                                   Subject 
>                                       Re: [SE] Ontology Driven            
>                                       Architecture Note                   
> Phil - it wasn't the concept that bothered me -
> it was the terminology - the idea of Semantic
> Intra-Webs doesn't bother me, the idea of
> "Semantic Webs" (with an S) is what I think we
> need to avoid because it gives people the wrong
> idea - for example, I saw a couple of things at
> ISWC that claimed to be Semantic Web, but didn't
> use RDF, OWL, any kind of URI scheme, or anything
> that would allow linking into the Semantic Web...
> doesn't seem to me that that is a good thing to
> promote
>  -JH
> p.s. FWIW, I thought this note would be a good
> one for SWBP, in fact better than many of the
> things turned out that are sort of "ontologies
> for experts" instead of "why use the Semantic
> Web" -- if the SW CG does start a Sem Web
> Outreach WG, then I hope this document will go
> there.
> At 21:00 +0000 11/14/05, Phil Tetlow wrote:
>>I fully appreciate your point and indeed agree in part, but I don't
>>necessarily believe that the note is as dangerous, divisive or naïve as
> you
>>indicate (but I am hoping you will correct me further). As the preceding
>>paragraph to the section in question states "it is important to be
>>pragmatic" and also mentions that the two cases presented relate to a
>>"relational standpoint".
>>This section was, in fact, included following some considered and valued
>>input from Alan Rector and I personally think that it adds great value.
> For
>>me, it helps break down a number of barriers for many "traditional"
>>practitioners who IMHO have a somewhat esoteric view of the Semantic Web
> as
>>a holistic reality.
>>The main purpose of the note is to encourage take up in new communities,
>>"bridge building" if you will. As such, even though, we all know this side
>>of the bridge that linking "islands" of the Semantic Web will be important
>>in the future, I think there is another, equally important point we should
>>not forget - if the islands are not constructed in the first place, the
>>idea of linking them together into higher orders of ontology is merely
>>fanciful. Just because such islands choose to exist in the same
> referenable
>>ocean of HTTP URI space does not preclude them from being located over the
>>visible horizon, nor does it suggest that they have to be quarantined from
>>the rest of the world to prevent infection (please forgive my somewhat
>>forceful analogy here). Furthermore, I think it is important to note that
>>less experienced practitioners may well be more comfortable with island
>>building, than continent construction right now.
>>There is also a question of purpose here. This note was deliberately
>>written within the Best Practices Working Group to undergo hard review
> (and
>>it has indeed undergone a baptism of fire so far), so what exactly do we
>>mean by "Best Practice" here? Is it about the betterment of the notion of
>>"a Semantic Web" as you appear to suggest, or is it more to do with the
>>application of current technologies created under the Semantic Web banner?
>>If the latter is more relevant, then as an industrial practitioner using
>>such technologies in the field right now, the significant feedback I am
>>getting from "corporate" adopters is that they have purely selfish reasons
>>for adoption, wanting to address specific problems in their own specific
>>domains. Hence do we want to refer to such practices using "intra-based"
>>terminologies? My feeling is not for exactly the reasons you mention. Many
>>users deliberately adopt global namespaces from which to build their own
>>isolated understandings for good reason, and so these understandings may
>>well be blended into the wider community of the Semantic Web at some point
>>in the future (as indicated in the second bullet in the list). Therefore,
>>at present, they are neither totally isolated nor totally integrated; they
>>are merely invisible web fragments of an early and sporadic semantic
> whole.
>>Is this bad practice? Is this misconceived? I think not. It may not be
>>pure, but it is practical and it is helping to solve a number of serious
>>and significant real world problems right now; hence the need for best
>>practice guidance in this area. To marginalise such types of application
>>would, in my "naïve" mind, be counterproductive, but I wholeheartedly
> agree
>>with your opinion that it is important to send out the most appropriate
>>guidance to an eagerly awaiting audience at this time. Any further advice
>>you might have would indeed be appreciated, in what is undoutably a
>>contentious area.
>>I think that it is also important to reiterate that many of the
>>applications of Sem Web technologies we are now seeing are less concerned
>>with AI and more to do with formality of description and transformation
>>Ranting over. I must apologise!  ;0)
>>Best Regards,
>>Philip Tetlow
>>Senior Consultant (Certified Technical Architect)
>>IBM Business Consulting Services
>>Mail: IBM United Kingdom Limited, 1175 Century Way, Thorpe Park, Colton,
>>Leeds, LS15 8ZB
>>Current Assignment: DWP BPRP (Metadata)
>>Mobile: +44 (0)7740 923328
>>Email: philip.tetlow@uk.ibm.com
>>              Jim Hendler
>>              <hendler@cs.umd.e
>>              du>
> To
>>                                        Phil Tetlow/UK/IBM@IBMGB,
>>              14/11/2005 16:44          danbri@w3.org
> cc
>>                                        "best-practice list"
>>                                        <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>, Tim
>>                                        Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
> Subject
>>                                        Re: [SE] Ontology Driven
>>                                        Architecture Note
>>FWIW, I was planning to raise some objections when this went out - I
>>can do it now -- basically, I think we should remove the discussion
>>of "a collection of semantic webs" which is both naive and misleading
>>(section 3.4 of [1]) -- rather, if you wish to refer to something
>>like "Semantic intra-nets" or such I could live with that -- the
>>point is this content all lives in the same exact address space (the
>>http URI space) and separate documents within corporations or the
>>like, may be protected by firewalls, or by lack of linking, but since
>>they still participate in this same universal space (and via same
>>protocols, standards, etc;) saying "Semantic Webs" is as wrong as
>>referring to separate "Webs" -- the WWW has intranet/intraweb
>>components which are walled-off from others, and this was crucial to
>>early Web development, but it is exactly that these could eventually
>>be linked to others that we have a (singular) World Wide Web, and
>>conveying the idea that somehow the Sem Web is different is both
>>misleading and wrong -- if someone totally foolish wanted to create
>>their own, unregistered URI scheme, keep their ontologies against
>>that scheme (and I guess copy the owl namespace into that space or
>>else they link via owl: concepts), and make sure nothing every
>>touched the rest of the Web it could be a separate Semantic Web, but
>>it seems like an odd and vicious idea to do so.   Linking "islands"
>>of the Semantic Web will eventually be very important to its success,
>>and it is VERY important that we don't convey the idea that these
>>islands are somehow separate -- if we do, then much of the Sem Web
>>technology "degrades" back to the traditional, unlinkable, AI stuff,
>>which is what we are trying to avoid.
>>   Tim BL and I had a fight with one of the EU funders who kept trying
>>to refer to multiple Semantic Webs, and seeing SWBP feed into this
>>foolish misconception would not be a good thing
>>   -Jim Hendler
>>    AC Rep
>>   MIND Lab
>>[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/BestPractices/SE/ODA/
>>At 8:47 +0000 11/14/05, Phil Tetlow wrote:
>>>How do you suggest we go about SWIG review of the ODA note?
>>>It can be found at http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/BestPractices/SE/ODA/
>>>Best Regards,
>>>Philip Tetlow
>>>Senior Consultant (Certified Technical Architect)
>>>IBM Business Consulting Services
>>>Mail: IBM United Kingdom Limited, 1175 Century Way, Thorpe Park, Colton,
>>>Leeds, LS15 8ZB
>>>Current Assignment: DWP BPRP (Metadata)
>>>Mobile: +44 (0)7740 923328
>>>Email: philip.tetlow@uk.ibm.com
>>Professor James Hendler                                  Director
>>Joint Institute for Knowledge Discovery
> 301-405-2696
>>UMIACS, Univ of Maryland
> 301-314-9734
>>College Park, MD 20742
>>(New course: http://www.cs.umd.edu/~hendler/CMSC498w/)
> --
> Professor James Hendler                                  Director
> Joint Institute for Knowledge Discovery                        301-405-2696
> UMIACS, Univ of Maryland                                       301-314-9734
> (Fax)
> College Park, MD 20742
> http://www.cs.umd.edu/~hendler
> (New course: http://www.cs.umd.edu/~hendler/CMSC498w/)
Received on Thursday, 17 November 2005 19:23:44 UTC

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