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Re: Comments to Semantic Web FAQ [1/2]

From: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 11:32:18 +0200
Message-ID: <46249422.9090402@w3.org>
To: Uldis Bojars <uldis.bojars@deri.org>
CC: public-sweo-ig@w3.org

Comments below

Uldis Bojars wrote:
> Hi All,
> I ran the FAQ by a person who's not a Semantic Web hacker (is a marketing
> "hacker" instead, but won't run away on the first mention of RDF) to see how
> it looks from the "outside". As the Semantic Web gets wider application
> areas the FAQ will get more and more used by people not directly involved
> with it and we should think about them now. So - here are some overall
> comments from us both - and I'll send some more technical comments on
> Monday, in a follow-up message.
> First of all, the FAQ is very good and comprehensive already. Dynamic JS for
> expanding the answers makes it even nicer. Thanks, Ivan, Lee and everyone
> involved.
> Suggestion: change the link text for expanding answers (currently "expand")
> to "expand all the questions". It is important if someone wants to print the
> FAQ and making this more clear will only help. Full sentence after the
> change:
>> Alternatively, you can [expand all the questions] (or [collapse them])
> with one click.

Yep, good point. Done.

> ---
> Some of the answers are long and visually very dense, and may scare readers
> away.  
> Examples are: 1.1; first part of 1.2; 2.3; 2.7; 2.8; 3.1; 3.5.
> Maybe you can make these answers lighter by reformatting them, revising the
> text or splitting into two.
>> 1.1. How would you define the main goals of the Semantic Web?
> Replace "firstly," and "secondly," with a numbered list. Reformat the next
> paragraph (starting with "Semantic Web technologies can be used in ...")
> into a bullet list instead of one large chunk of text.
> Change the first paragraph to "The vision of the Semantic Web is to extend
> principles of the Web form documents to data".
> About content of this question: It is good to start with a vision, goals or
> a "why" statement. But there is a mismatch between the formulation of this
> question and the answer provided:
>  - A question talks about "the goals of the Semantic Web". The answer, on
> the other hand, does not explain the goals. It talks about what the Semantic
> Web will allow and how can these technologies be used. Those are important
> questions, but do not directly give an answer about the goals.
> Uldis: I can't offer a better formulation. The vision / goals parts are the
> hardest to formulate. Maybe someone on the list can offer a stronger
> formulation. The "zip-code" example is a good start, but probably we can
> find a more breath-taking example as well.

I have changed to numbered list. As for the general formulation: I have
fought with that myself. Though I see your point, I leave it for now,
unless somebody comes up with a better text...

B.t.w., I have changed the future tense to present tense in the text....

>> 1.2 What are the major building blocks of the Semantic Web.
> In order to achieve the goals <a href="#would">described above</a> - this
> link is broken.

Sigh.:-) (Explanation: the original text was written in amaya, which
generates pretty awful ID-s when automatically creating such internal
links. I have decided to use something slightly more meaningful, but I
missed some cross references...)

> The first part of this answer does not directly talk about the building
> blocks. Plus it is quite long. Without additional knowledge about the
> Semantic Web it seems like the last part (the bullet list) has main
> information about the building blocks. Re. the 1st part - is it the main
> advantage or building block that relationships can be bi-directional?

Hm. I am not sure I agree with the assessment. If you have the general
goal, what is the *fundamental* thing you have to have to achieve that?
Relationships between resources, ie, RDF triplets. Then you need some
more based on that. I am not sure how to avoid that here. And hyperlinks
are the animals everybody knows today, so drawing that analogy is useful
to understand what we are talking about.

I have difficulties to see what could be taken out here, I must admit.

> Re. link to [RDF] - currently it links to W3C page about RDF. Another
> possibility is to link to a FAQ question explaining what is RDF (may need to
> create one) and let it link to the W3C page.

I have changed the link to the relevant question. Right.

>> 1.5. Is the Semantic Web just research, or does it have industrial
> applications?
> Remove "Not any more.". Someone may understand it as related to the second
> part of the question.

True. Done

>> 1.6. I have heard that the Semantic Web require developers to understand
> the complicated details of formalized knowledge representation. Does't that
> makes the Semantic Web unreachable for most?
> The question is too long.
> Can it be reformulated?

Absolutely right. Here is the new title:

"Does one have to understand the theory of formal ontologies and logic
to use the Semantic Web?"

> When the answer talks about "users" is it end-users or developers?
> To balange it you could replace the second mention of "the user" ("What the
> user needs to operate") with "the developer".


>> 1.9. What is the Semantic Web activity at W3C?
> "goals is" -> "goals are"


>> 2.1. . Artificial Intelligence?
> "ie the merge of knowledge" -> "i.e. merging of knowledge" ?

Mixing up the (sometimes) British style and others (lots of my British
friends use e.g., and i.e., without the dots, like "eg" and "ie". I am
not sure which one is correct. But one has to be consistent, so I indeed
changed it.

>> 2.3. . XML? When should I use RDF and when should I use XML?
> A long text.
> Add a line break in the 2nd paragraph before "However, combining different
> XML hierarchies" or before "XML is not an easy tool".
> If this is a list of strengths / differences make it a numbered list.

Yep. What I did is to pick the last paragraph (that refers to schemas),
made it a bit shorter and moved it to the question on XML Schemas

>> 2.4. . XML Schemas? What do ontologies buy me that XML and XML Schema
> don't?
> 2nd item in the list says "One advantage of OWL ontologies will be the
> availability of tools that can reason about them."
> Can you make it more focused, e.g., "will be the availability of reasoning"
> or "is the availability of reasoning" ?

Hm. This is a quote from the OWL Guide. Either we paraphrase the whole
thing, in which case this could be done, or we keep it as it is if it is
a quote (I changed the style to make it clearer stylistically, too). At
this moment, I would prefer to keep it as a quote...

>> 2.6. . tagging, folksonomies
> "Tagging as" -> "has"


> Uldis: the ability to use URIs to uniquely identify resources is something
> that we should mention more in the FAQ.

I defer this to Sandro's text. On URIs

> After "instead of tagging data items with strings, they can be related to
> other resources" add "which can be uniquely identified".

Good point. Added

>> 3.1. Does the Semantic Web require me to manually markup all the existing
> web-pages, or to convert all the data in relational databases into RDF?
> Start new paragraph before "The challenge is to ..." in the 1st paragraph.


> In the list of automatic procedures exporting RDF, starting with "Instead,
> automatic procedures, " add "exported from weblogs and social software
> sites".

The sentence is pretty long, and I want to keep it general. If I add
this it could be read as if it is *only* from weblog and social software
sites that I care about... Don't you think?

>> 3.2. Does the Semantic Web require me to put all my data into the public
> domain? What about my sensitive data?
> Add "encryption, " after "the current infrastructure of firewalls, ".


>> 3.4. Are the SW tools as robust and as ubiquitous as, say, the xerces XML
> parser?
> Remove "(if we refer to the year 2004 when the core technologies became
> really stable)".


>> 3.7. How can I learn more about the Semantic Web?
> Start a new paragraph at "The Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment
> Working Group <http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/BestPractices>  has produced ..."


>> 3.9. Is there a community of developers I can join?
> We may add a list of domain-specific communities in a new paragraph or
> bullet list.
> Often it is through grass-roots communities like DOAP, FOAF and SIOC that
> people get introduced to the Semantic Web.
> E.g.,
>  - DOAP - a project to describe information about open-source software
> projects [ on the Semantic Web / in a machine readable form / ...]
>  - FOAF - a project to describe information about people and their social
> relations [ on the Semantic Web / in a machine readable form / ...]
>  - SIOC  - a project to describe information about online community sites
> (blogs, bulletin boards, ...) [ on the Semantic Web / in a machine readable
> form / ...] and use this information to connect these sites together.
> Also expand these acronyms (e.g., using "title" attribute of hyperlinks).
> Link to the project site or to the mailing list where developer discussions
> are taking place.

Yes, good idea. I have added, and also added the Linking Open Data
project. It does attract a major community these days.

Actually, I also added a reference to PlanetRDF

> ---
> We may also point to some tools that produce or consume DOAP, FOAF and SIOC.
> That will already be a different question than 3.9.
> Maybe there is a place for a whole section of questions answering in some
> more detail what are these and other data formats, what produces them, how
> can you use them, etc...
> Same about SKOS, Dublin Core, ...

Let us leave that for the next release!:-)

> ---
>> 4.1. What is RDF?
> "is a standard model for data interchange on the Web." -> "for describing
> data on the Web".
> "data interchange" can make on think "wait, isn't that what's XML for?"

Defer this to the other mails.

>> 4.3. Where is the "Web" in the Semantic Web?
> "URI-s are used to to name resources in RDF triples" -> "URI-s are used to
> name and uniquely identify resources in RDF triples"

I defer to Sandro's text here.

>> 4.5. Why not use SQL and/or XQuery to query RDF data? Why develop yet
> another query language?
> "If query was done via, for example, by XQuery," - delete "by".

Of course...:-)

>> 4.4. How can I query RDF data?
> "directed graph <http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/SW-FAQ#whrdf> " links to 4.1.,
> but that section has only mentions word "graph" in the last sentence.
> Uldis: to write more about the graph structure (in the followup mail). The
> graph nature of RDF is something that makes it fundamentaly very simple and
> powerful.

True. I have added a small extra text and moved that part into a
separate paragraph to make it more emphasized

>> 4.8. Must I use ontologies for Semantic Web Applications?
> The link "The answer on the role of ontologies and/or rules
> <http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/SW-FAQ#whmustont>  includes a very simple
> ontology example." references the very same question - 4.8.
> (Talk about the snake swallowing its own tail! :)

Doh. :-)

> What is the "simple ontology example" referenced here and what is the
> correct URI that this should link to?

"Does one have to understand the theory of formal ontologies and logic
to use the Semantic Web?"

>> 4.13. Is there an uptake in public datasets for the Semantic Web? Are
> there major data published for the Semantic Web already?
> "triplets" -> "triples".


> ---
> Another question for the FAQ is "Where can I find papers / publications
> about the Semantic Web?"

Speaking like a good academic:-) But yes. I have added a question with a
reference to ISWC, ESWC, ASWC and WWWXXXX


> Thanks,
> Uldis
> [ http://captsolo.net/info/ ]


Ivan Herman, W3C Semantic Web Activity Lead
URL: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
PGP Key: http://www.cwi.nl/%7Eivan/AboutMe/pgpkey.html
FOAF: http://www.ivan-herman.net/foaf.rdf

Received on Tuesday, 17 April 2007 11:56:16 UTC

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