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Re: Showing the Semantic Web

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2006 14:51:12 -0500
Message-ID: <43CE9C30.90506@acm.org>
To: Misha Wolf <Misha.Wolf@reuters.com>
CC: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>

Micha--

I hope you don't consider this reply has requiring a flame retardant 
suit, but I have to make some comments about your post (some of which I 
expect will also apply to further comments on this thread).

First, I've reviewed some of your past email on NewsML.  It seems to me 
that, to the extent you explicitly asked for help, you got it (I recall 
a reification question;  were there others?).  As far as generating 
interest in NewsML, how clear do you think you've been in explaining why 
it ought to be of *general* interest, not just of interest to those 
interested in "news"?  The argument that this is of general interest 
certainly hasn't been clear to me (my father was a newspaperman, so I 
*am* interested in news), and may not have been clear to others either. 
  Why don't you explain a little more (in particular, say why you think 
NewsML is the most important application to enter the Semantic Web 
arena), if you think it's that worthwhile as a matter of general interest?

Second, what kinds of discussions do you consider "practical" for this 
list?  I ask this question because I would expect that some kinds of 
very practical discussions relating to applications of this technology 
might not take place on lists like this at all.  One example is 
presumably your own work.  I understand that you have a NewsML 2 list, 
and I imagine most of the detailed discussion takes place there.  That 
makes sense doesn't it?  Similarly, in the RDF Primer I mentioned the 
CIM/XML (it's RDF, despite the name) specification that the power system 
industry uses to exchange various kinds of data.  Like your own list, 
they have a yahoogroups list, and active discussions go on there.  But 
those discussions don't generally involve elementary questions about how 
to do stuff in RDF, but are instead about various aspects of the models 
themselves (like why is the containment relationship between a power 
transformer and a substation modeled the way it is).  That sort of stuff 
is less likely to be of interest to people on this list than more 
general questions (unless they are also electrical engineers).  I expect 
there are other specialized applications where similar considerations hold.

BTW, the last paragraph suggests a possible distinction between "an 
application of Semantic Web technology" and "a Semantic Web 
application".  CIM/XML is an RDF application, hence it's an application 
of Semantic Web technology.  However, as far as I know, this data 
doesn't appear on the Web, and probably isn't intended to (and if some 
of it did appear on the Web, national security interests might suggest 
removing it!), so it might not be considered a Semantic Web application. 
  (However, I did say "*possible* distinction", and CIM/XML applications 
keep getting extended, so publication of some kinds of this data might 
be reasonable).

Finally, in a separate post, you asked "what is an RDF application?". 
While I have nothing to do with DOAP, my entirely unofficial opinion, 
for what it's worth, is that what you described counts as an RDF 
application.  It seems to me that if you have a notation, and a 
well-defined transformation from that notation to RDF, then what you've 
defined is, whatever else it might be, simply a non-RDF/XML notation for 
RDF.  After all, what's RDF/XML?  It's an XML notation with a defined 
tranformation from that notation to RDF.  There just happens to be a W3C 
spec for it.

--Frank

Misha Wolf wrote:
> Danny Ayers wrote:
> 
> [...]
> 
>>The question "where are the applications?" has been historically 
>>hard to answer in part because of the general focus on developing
>>infrastructure, and a large proportion of systems are very
>>general-purpose tools (APIs, stores etc) rather than actual
>>applications in themselves. But I'm pretty sure there is now a
>>convincing array of 'true' applications out there, though still 
>>can't really answer the question :-(
> 
> [...]
> 
> In trying to generate interest in, and get help with, such an 
> "application" (namely B2B News), I've found minimal interest on this
> list.  I believe that NewsML 2 is the most important "application" 
> to enter the Semantic Web arena.  It is a shame that only the News 
> industry is interested in the challenges and opportunities.
> 
> <wears flame retardant suit>
> Most mails on this list seem to be either plugs for events/journals 
> or quite abstract arguments.  With a few notable exceptions, there 
> seems to be little interest in anything practical.
> </wears flame retardant suit>
> 
> Misha Wolf
> News Standards Manager, Reuters, www.reuters.com
> Chair, News Metadata Framework WG, IPTC, www.iptc.org/dev
> Vice-Chair, NewsML 2 Architecture WP, IPTC, www.iptc.org/dev
> 
> 
> To find out more about Reuters visit www.about.reuters.com
> 
> Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender specifically states them to be the views of Reuters Ltd.
> 
> 
> 
Received on Wednesday, 18 January 2006 19:49:18 GMT

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