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Re: W3C Provenance Working Group Charter - another alternate version for discussion

From: Luc Moreau <l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2010 22:27:13 +0000
Message-ID: <EMEW3|037b527a5c1f2fcae2dec3901c9e9090mAGMRJ08l.moreau|ecs.soton.ac.uk|4CE456C1.7060708@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
To: Paulo Pinheiro da Silva <paulo@utep.edu>
CC: "public-xg-prov@w3.org" <public-xg-prov@w3.org>

Thanks for editing the draft charter and sending it to the group.

Discussion with Satya have indicated that the *Name of the Provenance 
Language* will
be controversial. I suggest we don't focus on this issue, and we 
acknolwedge the XG will
identify its name. I agree with your proposal of naming it XG, or FOO, 
NPL or something neutral.

However, all the feedback I have heard from people involved in 
standardization activities,
is that we have to have a clear scope. By indicating OPM, we meant not 
just a name, but a precise list
of provenance concepts.
To avoid an ambiguity, I attach this list of terms.  I will argue that 
each term in this list has got
a fairly precise meaning. I also acknolwedge that we can revisit the 
terminology, if appropriate.

Your proposal is however vague about its starting point. A quick grep 
over pml-p indicates:

grep 'owl:Class ' pml-provenance.owl | wc

32 64 1466

grep 'Property ' pml-provenance.owl | grep -v onProperty | wc

52 104 3018

Are you telling us the starting point is 80+ concepts?

Your document also indicates " The Working Group has an aggressive 
timetable based on the premise that it builds on existing work once we 
have a clear understanding of the boundaries of the new model. ". So, 
you are explicitly leaving the scoping activity to the XG . I feel this 
is not the right approach. It is up to us to scope this model, in the 
charter definition.  TBL's suggestion was to list the terms to take into 

A few further points.
a. While I am in favour of a graphical notation to illustrate provenance 
concepts, I think it is dangerous to
promise a full graphical language. Experience in OPM is that beyond 
nodes and edges, the rest is very textual,
and overall is not very visual beyond toy examples.  So, by all means, 
graphical illustration, but not a full
graphical language.

b. I am strongly in favour of a definition of a language in plain 
English, independently of any representation language.
It's part of the "accessibility agenda". We should be able to describe 
the provenance language without referring to an OWL ontology.

c.  I am keen to reach out to the non semantic web community. What about 


PS I can't believe SC has connectivity problems ;-)

On 17/11/2010 21:43, Paulo Pinheiro da Silva wrote:
> Dear All,
> Deborah and I had a discussion on Monday.  This discussion was in 
> follow up to the meeting that Jim, Deborah, and I had at RPI two weeks 
> ago and that was reported by Jim through an email to the group. I did 
> an editing pass in the original draft of the charter on Monday and 
> Deborah took an edit pass on top of that late Monday. The updated 
> version of the draft attached here is in review mode so that you can 
> see the rationale behind our changes (and hopefully comment them 
> further).
> We were hoping that Jim would be able to do an edit pass but his has 
> been very busy at Supercomputing 2010 and probably with challenging 
> connectivity. This means that the comments in this updated draft may 
> not necessarily reflect Jim’s opinions.
> We understand that the document is going to spur some discussion but 
> we would like to highlight some of the principles used during our 
> conversation and that Deborah and I considered in our comments:
> We understand the following:
> 1)    The provenance community needs to make progress soon if the 
> community wants the outcomes of the proposed working group to have 
> impact;
> 2)    Provenance has many dimensions and that the group has a good 
> understanding of some dimensions while our collective understanding of 
> other dimensions is still very superficial – thus the working group 
> will need to focus its efforts in the well-known parts of provenance – 
> the so-called core concepts of provenance;
> 3)    No single provenance language can claim to have representation 
> mechanisms for all already-identified core provenance concepts and 
> just core provenance concepts (i.e., no language is a minimal 
> representation of core provenance concepts). However, we also 
> understand that the provenance languages discussed in the Provenance 
> Incubator Group have ways of representing most of these core concepts 
> and that the proposed working group needs to leverage all such 
> languages in order to make progress fast.
> Many thanks,
> Paulo (Deborah and Jim)

Received on Wednesday, 17 November 2010 22:27:55 UTC

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