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Re: Discussion: OWL-S and Industry Adoption

From: <ewallace@cme.nist.gov>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 16:02:00 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <200411302102.QAA19211@clue.mel.nist.gov>
To: public-sws-ig@w3.org, joshgrob@comcast.net

Josh Grob started a discussion on OWL-S with the following:
>Last week I attended a semantic web seminar hosted by Eric Miller, who is a 
>Semantic Web Activity Lead for the W3C, and we started to discuss the future 
>of OWL-S and why it seemed that the industry (chiefly commercial interests) 
>have been slow to adopt semantic web services.  By "slow" we were comparing 
>how OWL-S does not seem to have the same transition from more of a research/
>academic initiative to more commercial implemenations as seen with RDF and 
>OWL.  As such we figured it would be best to open up a discussion as to why 
>this is, and how to spur the transition as well as to allow people to 
>comment freely on OWL-S.  Here is a list a questions and statements that 
>may help jumpstart the conversation:

As one who is watching more than participating, I can provide one perspective
on this.

>This OWL-S standard is still a W3C submission.  Is it still to early to discuss 
>the viability of OWL-S before it becomes a recommendation?  Perhaps many are still 
>trying to digest the specifications?

OWL-S is not a standard.  It is a specification that has been submitted to W3C
and parts of it are still changing.  OWL and RDF *are* standards which are
essentially refinements of previous work.  In the case of OWL, the creation
of a standard by an internationally recognized organization was an important
catalyst to commercialization and convergence of previous work.

>Are there not enough concrete examples/documentation for users to follow, and 
>help expose the benefit of semantically describing a web service?

There could be more examples, but that's a minor issue.

>Are the good examples that do exist not given enough publicity, and a convenient 
>way to search for them?
>Are there not enough tools to help automate the process of semantically describing 
>a web service?

Tools are needed for creating, visualizing, reasoning about, and controlling Semantic
Web Services.  Some tools have emerged very recently for editing OWL-S based SWS
specs, but tool support appears to be significantly less mature than OWL and RDF.

>Are there other standards or emerging technologies that overlap with OWL-S, and 
>lessen its importance?

There are quite a few specifications out there for process description, execution,
and/or planning.  A number of these are standards such as XPDL, BPML, BPE4WS, 
ebBPSS, BPRI, WMF, and UML2 Action Semantics.  Others are more formal: PSL and 
SWSL. For me, OWL-S doesn't stand out as much from these as OWL did from conceptual
modeling languages.  It doesn't seem to have the mindshare, nor does it offer 
a fairly lossless transition path to comparable expressiveness supported by formal 

There is another reason for a comparably weak interest level in OWL-S.  Many of
us who might otherwise be using it are busy with OWL projects! ;/  


Evan K. Wallace
Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
Received on Tuesday, 30 November 2004 21:02:03 UTC

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