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Re: using foaf/webid at W3C - Re: minutes of todays teleconf

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2011 14:54:56 +0100
Message-ID: <AANLkTi=oKQFeAD0avTL2tMStwpe61aQBvvkZ4PJxYeJL@mail.gmail.com>
To: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Cc: peter williams <home_pw@msn.com>, Seth Russell <russell.seth@gmail.com>, public-xg-webid@w3.org
On 22 February 2011 10:49, Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net> wrote:
> On 22 Feb 2011, at 02:26, peter williams wrote:
>  Just interested to know if W3C actually uses RDF and FOAF.
>
> The W3C is not a semantic web fan club. A lot of people there believe only
> in html or others only in javascript, and yet others in xml.
> The director is very influential but he cannot order people to believe.
> Wider use cases keep gaining converts, and things like this will certainly
> be helpful.

I'm not sure this is a particularly useful way to frame things. The
term "W3C" gets used in several ways - to refer to the formal
Consortium, to the wider community around it, to the
chairs/editors/members of its collection of groups, or to the W3C
Staff, i.e. the W3C "Team". Within the Team you will find people with
technical and administrative responsibilities for each Activity area,
as well as those with cross-cutting work on supporting infrastructure
and services (eg. comms, systems teams). Taken together all of this is
a big mix of people, juggling their personal interests, their work
responsibilities, and the time and other resources they have at hand.
For the most part, there's no 'with' and 'against'; just busy people
juggling responsibilities, who wish they had more time to learn and
experiment and collaborate.

The systems and comm folk at W3C are entirely ready to be persuaded by
fabulous RDF tools, but their primary commitment is something that
works. While there is a strong "eat your own dogfood" culture around
W3C (eg. see the old DARPA SemWeb bid at
http://www.w3.org/2000/01/sw/DevelopmentProposal ) you'll also find an
awareness that it's probably best to use solid tools that are well
understood by lots of people, since putting something experimental and
researchy into production use could do a lot of damage - to people's
time and good will, but also to W3C's day to day functioning. There
are places in the site where it's OK to experiment, and there are
places in the site where experimentation is exactly the wrong thing to
do.

It's better I think to consider specific people and groups' roles,
rather than talk in religious terms (converts, forced belief, ...)
about whether "W3C" is with versus against us. W3C is a big thing, and
in a plenty real sense, the folk collaborating here are as much "W3C"
as any of the rest.

As for whether the W3C site and team use RDF, ... it's in a few
places, but not heavily. For eg.
http://www.w3.org/2002/01/tr-automation/ re metadata use around the
technical reports page, or in http://www.w3.org/2000/08/w3c-synd/ we
rigged up XSLTs to convert the home page news into RDF (RSS 1.0) and
other formats. Of more interest here perhaps, the W3C site's access
control database is (or was, I'm out of touch) using RDF behind the
scenes - see http://www.w3.org/2001/04/20-ACLs.html and nearby.

cheers,

Dan
Received on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 13:55:29 UTC

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