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Re: Do we need another list(s)? Was "other things"

From: Sw-MetaPortal-ProjectParadigm <metadataportals@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 15:46:44 -0800 (PST)
To: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>, Juan Sequeda <juanfederico@gmail.com>
Cc: Aldo Bucchi <aldo.bucchi@gmail.com>, "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>, semantic-web <semantic-web@w3.org>, eko@ekolibrium.org
Message-ID: <358916.6829.qm@web45514.mail.sp1.yahoo.com>
Dear listers,

I have taken the liberty of singling out three issues that I have found disturbingly lacking in the context of getting the semantic web on rails and moving, in particular beyond the pockets of SemWebers out there who know their stuff.

It is time to get the message out to the OTHER users of data, information and semantically linked open data sets.

There needs to be more done in the fields of outreach and education and making basic documents available to all newcomers to the field of semantic technologies.

Aside from the numerous wikis and similar intent repositories I have yet to find something like www.arxiv.org for the Semantic Web, or a specialized semantic "forge", or even a semantic applications directory.

Remember that sourceforge.net, the largest such initiative is a COMMERCIAL enterprise.

My organization is building repositories for a small subset of all the information out there, namely sustainable development, together with the Ekolibrium Foundation in the Netherlands and I am wondering why I haven't found a single archive online with good papers and publications on the Semantic Web, based on open access notion, like www.arxiv.org.

I live in a country, and with me millions of academically educated folks, where we have no direct access to good libraries, where books and journals can be borrowed, looked up and photocopies made of key articles for research..

This was one of the main defining issues why Ekolibrium was created in the first place.

My question is, with all the nuts and bolts people subscribing to the hundreds of semantic web mailing lists, why  has no one ever come up with the idea of creating an open access archive for outreach and education, and a virtual library/repository of open access licensed papers, publications and general documents?

We could readily adapt the arxiv.org format to suit the field of semantic web technologies.

On such a site we could also create links to journals, papers, publications like proceedings of conferences and hardcover books, which are not directly open access.

If we want e.g. a group of field biologists studying e.g. birds in the South Pacific or Indonesia to be able to create semantically enabled data sets or digital repositories online, where will they find the information which suits them, without having to go to the nearest library equipped with basic documentation?

How do we expect to "sell" the rest of the potential users out there on the semantic web and its advantages, if there no example repositories built for the inner core community of the semantic web itself?

This issue is not unique to the semantic web community, but appears in any specialized area of science and technology and in particularly where applications or products aimed at identified groups of consumers are involved.

The group of people filling in the gaps of outreach, education and related themes is rather small, and in my humble opinion may prove to be a major bottleneck in the near future.

Milton Ponson
GSM: +297 747 8280
Rainbow Warriors Core Foundation
PO Box 1154, Oranjestad
Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
www.rainbowwarriors.net
Project Paradigm: A structured approach to bringing the tools for sustainable development to all stakeholders worldwide
www.projectparadigm.info
NGO-Opensource: Creating ICT tools for NGOs worldwide for Project Paradigm
www.ngo-opensource.org
MetaPortal: providing online access to web sites and repositories of data and information for sustainable development
www.metaportal.info
SemanticWebSoftware, part of NGO-Opensource to enable SW technologies in the Metaportal project
www.semanticwebsoftware.org


--- On Fri, 12/5/08, Juan Sequeda <juanfederico@gmail.com> wrote:
From: Juan Sequeda <juanfederico@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Do we need another list(s)? Was "other things"
To: "Hugh Glaser" <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Cc: "Aldo Bucchi" <aldo.bucchi@gmail.com>, "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>
Date: Friday, December 5, 2008, 9:30 PM

Hugh and all,


On Fri, Dec 5, 2008 at 3:14 PM, Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote:




Clearly the answer was no, as I have had no other responses.I say yes, but most probably if it did exist right now, it wouldn't be used. 




I am still worried (as I guess Aldo is) that we do not have a support forum for plain users.I wonder why? 




(That is where they will feel welcome, able to ask damn fool questions, and nurtured.)

These are the people who actually might care nothing for our wonderful technologies, but simply want to use our amazing Linked Data, and that we need to bring into a community.

It may be that the wiki could help, but it doesn't at the moment.

To push the point more:

We are now doing tutorials on "How to Publish Linked Data...", which is great.

But we need to also do "How to Use Linked Data..." to people who know nothing, and don't really want to know much.EXACTLY!!!!! This is the whole chicken and egg problem. 

I ask myself every day... who is going to use linked data? And lets get all the LODers and SemWebers out of the picture. Now lets ask ourselves again, who is going to use this data? Who is this data for? Or furthermore, what is LOD? This is where we have to start! I think that this community needs to start putting themselves in the shoes of the "web2.0" developers! We need to start some kind of outreach and education pipeline. Personally, I have started this with the community of developers in Austin. In conjunction with the Cyc Foundation, we founded Semantic Web Austin [1], as a way to teach/expose Semantic Web technologies. We are planning to do WebOfData Workshops, bring keynote speakers, and just get the community excited about LOD, what it is, and HOW to USE it! Furthermore, this is one of the main motivations of SQUIN [2], so a simple web developer can use LOD without any complications. The transition needs to be nice and simple.



Another thing that I ask myself is who is going to start LODizing new data. The outreach and education part should encourge companies who are exposing their data through API's to start doing it as Linked Data too! But they never will if they don't even know what LOD is. An interesting case is Jinni.com, a "semantic web" application. I contacted the CEO, and to my surprise, they don't use any semantic web technologies and don't even know what LOD is! The application and data is awesome, and they just released an API. I envision a future when companies release their API's and their Linked Data too! 



[1] www.semanticwebaustin.org
[1] http://squin.sourceforge.net/




And then they need to know they can get support from somewhere.


Once they know what LOD is, and how they can start using it, this list will be useful! 




If anyone has any suggestions or can point me at something I have missed that would be great.
My two cents! Would love to here comments! 





Best

Hugh





On 28/11/2008 16:39, "Aldo Bucchi" <aldo.bucchi@gmail.com> wrote:



Hi Hugh,



On Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 9:15 AM, Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote:

> Thanks Aldo,

> Very clear.

> I agree; what is the forum for users to ask some questions without getting

> dragged into the developer world?



Not sure if it exists at this point.

There is some intent behind the LOD wiki and very good material there,

but the lines are a bit blurry ( only a bit ).



> We could point them at the wiki, and the developing material on how to do

> things, but they still need to be able to ask questions.

> Ravinder asked a sensible question of the sort that should get a

> well-serviced response; he got some of that (eg I said "here are some SPARQL

> endpoints, have fun!"), but we then moved back into developer mode and had a

> discussion among ourselves. This is not the first time this has happened, I

> think.



Exactly!

That was the case I was trying to make.

Very well synthesized.



> And I suspect that quite a few existing list members are feeling the content

> is too detailed.

> It is very exciting that we should have got to the stage where we have this

> problem!



Aha!

And that's why I think it is sensible to act now, this is only going

to grow as a problem.



> You suggest lod-dev and lod-users

> Checking the W3 lists it seems they don't really have a standard way of

> splitting things. Similar situations:

> eg

>    public-owl-comments - This is the public feedback mailing list

>    public-owl-dev

>    public-owl-wg - Technical discussion of the OWL Working Group.

> Or

>    www-amaya - discussion about general issues of Amaya

>    www-amaya-dev - Technical discussion about Amaya.

>    www-amaya-developers

>    www-amaya-doc - Discussion among contributors

>

> I am not in favour of having many lists, nor changing names.

>

> So I think it would be a good idea to create a new list "public-lod-dev",

> and use public-lod for our users (should it be used for announcements as

> well?).



In the end, the only difference is that there should be some place

where people are simply served with practical answers and those who

know the technicalities keep them to themselves ( and have other

spaces to channel those debates ), unless prompted to delve deeper.



We have agreed on what LOD is, right?

There is a huge amount of LOD out there, right?

There are tools to use it, right?



If that's what we are saying out to the world, then questions like

Ravinder's should have a very simple answer as you say.

And should reassure him in his interest, not plant a 6 meter wall in

front of him.



> I guess that is a formal proposal, if the protocol allows me to do so.

> Any takers?



Heh. Me.



>

> How do we decide?

> I guess we wouldn't want to flood the list with yes/no/maybe.

> Someone can put out a simple message and then gather votes?

> I would be happy to, or does someone else want to?

> Feel free to email me privately with "yes please", "I'll do it" or "no

> don't".

> Sorry if I am out of order here, but let's get to a conclusion with minimum

> fuss.



Yeah, I don't know how to proceed either.

This is just another debate where we are pointing out an important issue.



There are others with more authority and insider knowledge that could

provide some guidance.



I would suggest calling the aforementioned case, the "R" case, in

allusion to the name of the user who asked the question.



So far, the R-Case is yet another example that has served to reveal a

flaw in the suitability of this list to receive the new markets we are

targeting with our outreach efforts ( markets will try to stand a bit

to the right of the value chain and don't really care what's going on

on the other side ).



( and if mr ravinder does care, then lets just create a fictional

character. he served the purpose well ;).



Best,

A



>

> Best

> Hugh

>

> On 27/11/2008 21:54, "Aldo Bucchi" <aldo.bucchi@gmail.com> wrote:

>>

>> Hugh,

>>

>> Oh I am not saying you are against this, like anyone else in this

>> group you are evidently pushing this forward.

>> This is just a debate excercise right?

>>

>> Not trying to second guess your intentions.

>>

>> Please all I tried to point out is exactly that.

>>

>> We are using this list to debate in public.

>>

>> Do we want to debate in public?

>> If we do, perfect.

>> But beware that we are bouncing people off because, gee, take a look

>> at the level of the discussions!

>>

>> People just want to know what this big cloud of data is, what they can

>> get out of it, how to use it, etc.

>>

>> Or else we will fall back again into the SW obscure alley.

>>

>> I am risking getting bullied in the list for pointing this out, but I

>> think it is worth it.

>>

>> We are making some progress here in terms of world PR.

>>

>> Best,

>> A

>> --

>> Aldo Bucchi

>> U N I V R Z

>> Office: +56 2 795 4532

>> Mobile:+56 9 7623 8653

>> skype:aldo.bucchi

>> http://www.univrz.com/

>> http://aldobucchi.com

>>

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--

Aldo Bucchi

U N I V R Z

Office: +56 2 795 4532

Mobile:+56 9 7623 8653

skype:aldo.bucchi

http://www.univrz.com/

http://aldobucchi.com



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