W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > August 2004

Thoughts on W3C RDF/SW mailing list reorganization?

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 11:16:38 -0400
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-ID: <20040827151638.GH19695@homer.w3.org>

A while ago I began work on a page which was intended to serve as 
both a draft 'welcome to the Semantic Web Interest Group' page, and 
an overview of a (possibly somewhat reorganised) list of mailing lists
that are associated with this Interest Group. 

I hesitate to circulate this rough draft, but I would like to get 
folks views on the current IG mailing list situation, and in particular
on the role/focus of the main IG list (which is currently this one, 
www-rdf-interest@w3.org). There's a document at 
http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/interest/intro.html but I can summarise the 
main topic I'd like feedback on:

We are now the "Semantic Web" Interest Group. The SWIG is a successor to
the RDF IG, which in turn evolved from the merger of the RDF-DEV
discussion list with the successor to the PICS IG which existed in the 
(pre-SW branded) W3C Metadata Activity. As in all such things, history
and accident have shaped things, and it is healthy to occasionally stand
back and think about how things have ended up. A broad, inclusive SW IG
ought, imho, to take care not to allow 'bigger picture' and application level
discussions to be swamped by deeply technical detail. 

This isn't something that mailing list (re)naming and partitioning can 
"solve", but mailing list structures are one tool in our toolbox. The 
wiki (a shared editable document space, http://esw.w3.org/topic/FrontPage), 
weblogs (such as those aggregated at http://www.planetrdf.com/), IRC 
discussions and perhaps even occasional teleconferences are also possible 
tools at our disposal.

For now, I would like to get some feedback on this list from people who 
(sometimes) use it. Some people use it just for announcements, others
lurk and read but don't post, others enter into lengthy discussions. I'm 
starting this thread and will do my best to read all replies (offlist to
me personally or public and archived on the list). I will be offline
much of next week though, so might have to leave you all to discuss it
amongst yourselves a while.

Basic questions:

If, as I propose, we make semantic-web@w3.org the main, 'home' list for 
this W3C Semantic Interest Group, do you think it would also make sense 
to continue www-rdf-interest@w3.org as a forum focussed on RDF technology
specifically? Or should it be retired, to avoid fragmenting discussions?

Do you think a list that attempted to avoid the fiddly detail of 
RDF-the-technology would be sustainable? Or would discussion inevitably
drift back to "reification permathread" and other detail that might 
alienate non-engineers?

Do you feel any particular forums are lacking? for example, I've been
asked a few times lately about lists for collaborating on RDF/OWL 
vocabularies. There are vocab-specific lists, eg. for RDF-calendar, 
FOAF, Dublin Core, but there's no general list for interop and
collaboration across them.

Do you find the level of technical detail, use of acronyms etc on this
list a problem? 

...I could go on, but this isn't meant to be a formal survey, just a 
starting point for discussion. I'm interested to hear whether the
current lists W3C provide are working for you, as SW IG members. There is
of course then the question of how we learn about the needs of folk who 
don't subscribe to this list, or who unsubscribed, or who pipe it into a 
mail folder and rarely read it. Suggestions on how to go about this
would be gratefully received...

Thanks for any thoughts,

Received on Friday, 27 August 2004 15:16:38 UTC

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