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Re: updated InfoGathering, proposing a portal as a solution - do you agree on a portal?

From: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 17:35:19 +0100
Message-ID: <45D5DD47.2030107@w3.org>
To: Leo Sauermann <leo.sauermann@dfki.de>
CC: W3C SWEO IG <public-sweo-ig@w3.org>

it is certainly worth and even necessary *discussing*, so no problem
daring at all...

In the meantime, I had some discussions with my colleagues and our
system maintainers. I think it is worth looking ahead and consider the
possible technical problems to have a clear view, before we engage into
something. Let me just copy some of the questions that came up, without
quoting names of course. These issues are all important when judging how
and where we would 'host' the final service.

"My first question is: Can you anticipate (or limit) the volume of
contributions and how often they are referred?"

"Being the central repository for [...] has been painful to keep up
with.  We have had to start blocking and educating about catalogues and
caching." [This may not be directly relevant for us, but may raise a
flag nevertheless]

"Which brings Swoogle [1] to mind.  One test of SWEO's thinking, Ivan,
is to ask them what Swoogle is not doing well enough or should be doing
better -- i.e. how this new proposal-under-development would improve on
Swoogle." [1] http://swoogle.umbc.edu/ (thinking of the possibility of
people just 'publishing' their data in some vocabularies, and let
existing crawlers pick up that data)

In general, once we have a somewhat clearer idea of the architecture,
and regardless of the details of the tools, we should certainly try to
make an assessment on long term on what this beast would lead to:

- what type and size of traffic we would expect on such portal
- what type of update frequency is needed
- what is the necessary manpower requirement to keep it up-to-date
- what type of extra facility is necessary (eg: you say we would have
some sort of a login facility for people making comments and rating;
what type of extra facility would we need for that? OpenID, etc?)

etc. Which means that we should have a clear idea about the architecture...


P.S. Earlier today, for a very different reason, I quoted Hofstadter's
Law in another mail:

Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you
take into account Hofstadter's Law
(Douglas R Hofstadter: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An eternal golden braid,
Penguin Books, 1980)

We should realize that the same law also applies for manpower and
machine requirements:-)

Leo Sauermann wrote:
> Hi Ivan, SWEO,
> I forgot to mention:
> the whole idea of making a PORTAL website is a bit daring, and I think I
> made a move forward here that may come too fast for other SWEO members.
> So before going into the details, I want to make clear:
> * this is going to be a web2.0 like portal website, which may take
> considerably effort to do, but may be really useful once done. Is SWEO
> agreeing that we think further into this direction? *
> If yes, we should search for strong implementation partners, that invest
> more than the 1/2 day of work we do at the moment ... we would perhaps
> need some manpower from our institutions/w3c members or from other
> companies.
> answers below:
> Es begab sich aber da Ivan Herman zur rechten Zeit 16.02.2007 11:01
> folgendes schrieb:
>>Hi Leo,
>>I made some edits for items that are just facts. I prefer to discuss
>>others before I make edits:
>>- We also started to collect references to events (conference,
>>workshops). What about general presentations on SW?
> YES, correct.
> added this to the ontology at the bottom:
>  * conference/event - conferences or events where you can learn about
> the sematnic web
>>- I think the crawling should also include Turtle from the start.
>>Actually, by the time we get there, GRDDL will be pretty much done, I
>>think it should be considered in the first round!
> possible, but I think thats an easy detail to add.
>>- Why RSS 0.9 and not 1.0?
> which is the RDF version?
> I didn't look so close, I meant the one with RDF in it
>>For the technical aspect:
>>The idea of using a crawler may lead to all kinds of technical problems,
>>though: efficiency, machine usage, etc. I would think that, at least in
>>the first round, we should restrict ourselves to the collection and
>>display of data that are 'registered' to us using RDF.
> I intended only to crawl registered URLs, like many services do today,
> you have a form where you post your file URL, the file gets wgetted daily.
>> I think, in this
>>respect, being prepared to GRDDL may be crucial: people may then
>>continue using their HTML pages if they want, they could then annotate
>>their pages directly, and we could get access to the RDF data. Caveat:
>>the ontology we develop will have to have a microformat version and we
>>would have to have a corresponding xslt script at disposal, too. The
>>same way, we should be prepared to RDFa in the first round, if people
>>prefer to use that (and RDFa becomes mature). We should not take sides
>>in using only one of those.
> I think this is far too complicated at the moment, XML is ok.
> people understand how RSS works, and cope with it.
> all this XML/XSLT for GRDDL is too complicated for now
>>There is an issue whether our portal would regularly 'download' the
>>referenced RDF data into our own database (say, once a day), or whether
>>we would always go out and on-the-fly access those. Having a gathering
>>done once a day would mean that we could offer one big RDF data for the
>>whole collection right away, possibly with a SPARQL interface to it, too.
> yes, thats cool and exactly what I had in mind
>>I will inquire by our system guys and other team members whether and how
>>we could host the final system on our site. It is not always obvious...
> I guess so, see the comments above.
> If not, I think we may opt for a "partner model" with a W3C member
> (like, say Oracle or DFKI) hosting this service as a donation.
> But I don't know what this implies polititcally
> best
> Leo
>>Leo Sauermann wrote:
>>>Hi SWEO,
>>>I analysed the information gathering wiki page and have rewritten it
>>>completly, doing much of the long-needed editing.
>>>I dumped many todos and read all suggestions made. I summed up
>>>everything, and gave it some order.
>>>As a result, I realized that we need a portal website to achieve our
>>>goals. The goals where to "do something useful that prolongs SWEO, where
>>>important information (popular, good ranked) can be found, and all
>>>information can be found".
>>>Also, several people suggested to have many people involved - and to
>>>reuse existing sources.
>>>I took all this and defined a "Semantic Web Information Portal" that
>>>gathers the Information Resources.
>>>Ivan, Pasquale, everyone in this task-force:
>>>!! today/tomorrow would be the perfect moment for you to look at this
>>>and edit freely !!
>>>SWEO: once the task force members are done, we present the result in the
>>>next telco.
> -- 
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> ____________________________________________________


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 Friday, 16 February 2007 16:36:07 UTC

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