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

Re: RE : Real World Semantic Web Tools?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 17:33:50 -0500 (EST)
To: Mansur Darlington <ensmjd@bath.ac.uk>
Cc: info@oilit.com, www-rdf-interest@w3.org, semanticweb@yahoogroups.com
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.55.0402141722560.9524@homer.w3.org>

On Fri, 13 Feb 2004, Mansur Darlington wrote:

>>But one issue I have with much of
>>what is presnted by the W3C rdf interest list is the contrast between the
>>mindboggling complexity of the concepts and the mindnumbing dumbness of the
>>exapmles used. It would be nicer to have simple concepts applied to
>>(moderately) tough problems.
>Interesting comments, and you certainly strike a chord with your last
>paragraph. We are trying to develop a set of practical examples of
>document/information search queries (of progressively greater
>difficulty/interest)  and matching search results together with
>explanations of how the technology solves the reasoning problem. Of
>course, to do this easily, we need the tools!


I have been working on explaining a particular RDF vocabulary - EARL. I
started with a presentation on the idea and what it is meant to do, then
wrote an introduction to how to use it with code examples. This is meant for
the same sort of person that learned HTML by copying code examples, and is at

I have some tools that can produce EARL automatically, and the goal of
writing this was so other developers who were interested in EARL (I had a
list in mind) could see the code, get an idea of how it works, and generate
it correctly.

From here, I plan to write some examples of how to query EARL and find out
interesting results - and end up with material that helps people who never
want to see the actual RDF work with it.

I have found that this approach of working with a specific use case is much
easier (for me and for the audience I am writing for) than trying to explain
how to use generic RDF. I think this is because that really involves much
more complex discussions about how to model information in general, which is
often beyond what someone thought they would need to examine in trying to
solve a particular problem.

It will take a number of these examples before it is easy for someone to find
out how to approach a new problem. There is already a fair bit of this stuff
for FOAF and for image annotation, some explanation of the way that W3C
specifications are managed in RDF. I think the RDF calendar work is another
good example case that could use more development at a level pitched at
intelligent readers who don't know anything about RDF.

I am interested in whether people think this is a useful approach to be


Received on Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:33:51 UTC

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