W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-sws-ig@w3.org > November 2005

Re: Options we have with respect to the draft charters (i.e., RE: [fwd] Draft charters for work on Semantics for WS)

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@isr.umd.edu>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 19:03:32 -0500
Message-Id: <056b67db6f520c1eea27fdc595712b3d@isr.umd.edu>
Cc: public-sws-ig@w3.org
To: jeff@inf.ed.ac.uk

On Nov 22, 2005, at 1:56 PM, jeff@inf.ed.ac.uk wrote:

> Quoting Bijan Parsia <bparsia@isr.umd.edu>:
>
>>>   even XML people cannot understand RDF/OWL due to those logics
>>>   and the way of RDF presentation. That's why this technology is
>>>   not well accepted and deployed.   That's why I said here before,
>>>   the more complex the system, the less the user. It's the same
>>>   to developing semantic Web services.
>>>
>>> For people trying to understand, and making decisions about
>>> adopting, RDF/OWL can be significantly more complex in the
>>> ways that most affect their decision.
>>
>> But he didn't make this claim. Acutally, he made a muddle of claims 
>> (is
>> it that RDF & OWL are a logic, or that they have bad presentation?)
>
> It was "and", rather than a muddle. :)

The "and" doesn't alleviate the muddle.

>> So, there's the claim that it *is* more complex and *why* it is more
>> complex. Then the simple claim that *any* complexity reduces the 
>> number
>> of users. So I believe you are reading far more into what he wrote.
>
> I wasn't trying merely to repeat the original point.

I would then appreciate it if you marked that more clearly. *I* 
certainly wasn't arguing that there's *NO* complexity argument to be 
made.

>> And complex *for what*? Are we comparing relevantly similar tasks? 
>> (For
>> example.) Perhaps we should look at the relative acceptance of Relax 
>> NG
>> and XML Schema?
>
> Of course there are sometimes other factors which are more important.

There are *usually* a lot of other factors that must be weighed 
carefully. And turning complaints about complexity into *useful 
actions* is *REALLY* hard. For example, if you offer *inadequate* 
expressivity (since it's "simpler") then you make a lot of people's 
lives harder because they can't directly say what they need to say and 
have to compensate.

>> I had written a lot more, but it doesn't seem worth it. I stand by my
>> point that wild-eyed bashing is no more informative than wild-eyed
>> hype, and that if you are going to talk about the acceptance dimishing
>> effects of complexity, you have to be fairly sophisticated in your
>> discussion. Acceptance and adoption are complex things which 
>> marketers,
>> economists and psychologists spend a lot of time failing to accurately
>> predict. I think we should be humble in our claims.
>
> Those are good points;

Thanks.

> however, if we end up believing that it's
> too hard to tell whether we're making things better or worse,

Thank goodness I don't believe this. I do believe in being humble about 
the grounds and certainy of my claims. Just as I see no need to hype 
the benefits, I see no need to hype the detriments.

> we're likely to continue on our present course, which seems to
> be to make web services

Er...I thought we were debating the semantic web!

>  increasingly complicated and complex.

But if that's what's required to meet needs...what's the problem?

Complexity == bad, simpliciter, is a pretty lame argument.

This isn't to say that I'm a fan of the cluttered, the baroque, and the 
painful. My friends and enemies know well otherwise. However, I prefer 
the discussion to be direct, grounded, and sensible. Well, a good 
complaintfest all around is good fun, but I don't see that the current 
thread is either useful or entertaining.

And yet, I participate. Go me!

Cheers,
Bijan.
Received on Thursday, 24 November 2005 00:04:07 GMT

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