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

From: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 13:56:58 +0200
Message-ID: <4624B60A.4090400@w3.org>
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
CC: Uldis Bojars <uldis.bojars@deri.org>, public-sweo-ig@w3.org

Sandro Hawke wrote:
>> 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".
> Nice work.   Two nits....
>>> 4.1. What is RDF?
>> "is a standard model for data interchange on the Web." 
> that's correct
>> -> "for describing
>> data on the Web".
>> "data interchange" 
> I disagree.   RDF is for exchanging data, not just metadata.
> That should probably be a FAQ.   (I thought there was at least something
> about it on the mythbusting page, but I can't find it now.)   
>>> 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"
> While I think the term "uniquely identify" is technically correct, it's
> a bit of a problem because it suggests to some people that each resource
> has only one name (a unique identifier), which is not the case.

defer (and mostly take over) the text below...

> Meanwhile, while looking at this part of the FAQ, I have some comments
> not related to Uldis Bojars's comments:
>   - change "URI-s" to "URIs".  The plural of an abbreviation in English
>     is formed by adding an "s", or possibly separated from the
>     abbreviation by an apostrophe.  The apostrophe is usually used when
>     just adding an "s" makes things too confusing, but even then it's
>     often frowned on.


>   - Actually, I'm learning the correct term is "IRIs", not "URIs".
>     Ivan, Susie, maybe this should be a SWEO meeting agenda item, and
>     you can invite people from the Working Groups (like DAWG and RIF)
>     currently trying to deal with this naming problem.  

No idea... for the moment I kept it as is.

>   - in 4.2 Isn't RDF simply an XML application?
>     Change "ASCII" to "text".  RDF/XML is not an ASCII format.  I don't
>     think the others are either.


>   - in 4.3 Where is the "Web" in Semantic Web?
>     This text is the usual answer, but it's seriously incomplete because
>     it omits the linked-data aspect of URIs.  For instance, by this
>     answer, Tag URIs would be just as good as HTTP URIs.
>     Here's a rewrite in that direction.  Maybe it goes too far, but
>     hopefully it makes my point clear:
>        The Semantic Web standards follow the design principles of the
>        Web [1] in order to allow the growth of a planet-wide collection
>        of semantically-rich data.  The key element of this design is the
>        use of Web addresses (URIs) to name things.  Because the meaning
>        of a term in a language without central control becomes
>        established by its consistent use to achieve the same effect, and
>        URIs are used around the world to access web pages (with each URI
>        achieving more or less a consistent effect on the web), we use
>        the Web to establish globally-shared meaning for URIs in the
>        Semantic Web.  (This is what people mean when they say RDF URIs
>        are "grounded" in the Web.)
>        As with the Web in general, this approach allows the Semantic Web
>        to grow and evolve without any central control or authority, but
>        while still maintaining as much consistency and authorial control
>        as needed for particular applications or particular enterprises.
>        The techniques for doing all this are still evolving, but ideally
>        whenener anyone sees a Semantic Web URI they can use it in their
>        browser and see authoritative documentation about its use.
>        Moreover, whenever some software encounters a URI in a Semantic
>        Web context, it can dereference it and find an ontology which
>        precisely specifies how the term is related to other terms.  The
>        software may thus learn and exploit new terms which are
>        synonymous with terms it already knows, or related in more
>        complex and useful (but logically precise) ways.
>        All this results in the ability to find and correctly merge
>        data from multiple sources, sometimes even when they are
>        provided with different ontologies.
>        "In the Semantic Web, it is not the Semantic which is new, it is
>        the Web which is new" Chris Welty, IBM
>        [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/webarch/

I, essentially, took this over.


> That's it for now!
>      -- Sandro


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 11:56:33 UTC

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