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Proposal to remove the phrase "Semantic Web" from the Self-Describing Web draft finding

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2008 16:14:10 -0500
Message-ID: <760bcb2a0812191314r7670f137x87e7f0ebe6eea248@mail.gmail.com>
To: "www-tag@w3.org WG" <www-tag@w3.org>

Tracker, this is for ACTION-207.

At the F2F I asserted that talking explicitly about the "Semantic Web"
in the "Self-Describing Web" draft finding [1] did a disservice to both,
and volunteered to prepare a set of edits that removed the phrase
"Semantic Web" from the document.

The disservice to the draft is that this Semantic Web thing is made to
look like a sidecar on the document, and distracts from the idea that
you can use RDF triples to enhance the "self-describing" nature of any
document.  After all, the goal of the document is to promote
self-description, not the Semantic Web - the Semantic Web can take
care of itself.

The disservice to the Semantic Web is that the way the draft is
written at present implies that the Semantic Web is a sidecar on the
Web - the metaphor I used was "ghetto".  The Semantic Web is made to
sound like a little specialist area where people who like that sort of
thing will isolate themselves doing their little thing.

Anyhow, below are the changes I suggest.  If no one agrees with me, I
will not press the matter, and this will be OK since my comments will
be preserved here in the mailing list archive.  But I would ask that
either a definition of "Semantic Web", or a reference to some source
that does define it, be added to the document.  I cannot provide such
a definition or reference because I don't know exactly what was meant
by the phrase as used in the draft.

-Jonathan

-----

Table of contents and four other occurrences in the body of the document:

  5 RDF and the Self-Describing Semantic Web

change to:

  5 Using RDF for Self-Description   [or "to Enhance Self-Description"]

The point being that, as you say in the text, the purpose of RDF (in
the context of this draft finding) is to enhance self-describingness,
not just arbitrarily to join the apparently unrelated Semantic Web
bandwagon.

-----

Introduction, fifth bullet: change

  For integration with the Semantic Web, self-describing
  representations should convey RDF triples, either by embedding them ...

to

  One way to enhance a document's self-describing nature is
  by providing RDF triples that convey or describe its content.  These
  triples should be provided by embedding them ...

-----

Introduction, just following the GPN: change

  how to publish self-describing Semantic Web data,

to

  how to use RDF triples for self-description,

-----

Last sentence of section 2: simply remove the two words "Semantic Web"
in the following:

  RDF, OWL and GRDDL are among the additional core technologies that
  enable self-describing Semantic Web content.

-----

Section 4.1, fifth bullet:  Change

  New RDF properties and ontologies can be defined for the Semantic Web

to

  New vocabularies and ontologies can be defined for RDF and OWL

-----

Next to last sentence of section 4: Just remove the entire sentence
"In this way, ..." as it adds nothing.

-----

Section 5, paragraph 3, sentence 2: Replace

  For the self-describing Semantic Web, the algorithm is extended to
  achieve a more particular goal:

with

  An extension to the algorithm achieves a more particular goal:

(or "achieves an additional goal")

-----

Section 5 GPN: replace

  to the self-describing Semantic Web.

with

  to the goal of self-description.

-----

Section 5, last sentence: change

  integrate HTML documents into the Semantic Web,

to

  provide triples that make HTML documents more self-describing,

-----

Beginning of 5.1: change

  Semantic Web statements

to

  logical assertions

or "triples" if you find "logical assertions" too vague or grandiose.

Change

  The following example illustrates how RDFa can integrate HTML into the
  self-describing Semantic Web:

to

  The following example illustrates how RDFa can be used to create
  self-describing HTML:

(or "HTML documents")

-----

Section 5, paragraph beginning "Even though": change

  This document conveys as RDF a set of semantic Web statements about

to

  This document conveys a set of RDF statements about

(or "triples" instead of "statements")

Next paragraph: in

  An RDFa-enabled user agent can extract these triples and use them to
  help Mary work with the data they contain, or to integrate with other
  Semantic Web information.

change "Semantic Web information" to "sets of triples".

Next paragraph: in

  Semantic Web triples are inherently self-describing.

replace "Semantic Web" with "RDF".

-----

GPN at the very end of sention 5.2: change

  GRDDL should be used to integrate XML documents into the
  self-describing Semantic Web.

to

  GRDDL should be used to enhance an XML document's self-describing
  nature.

(that's not great - would be happy to work on wording if there's interest)

-----

After these changes one occurrence of "Semantic Web" should
remain. This reference I find unobjectionable.

-----

[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/selfDescribingDocuments-2008-12-03.html
Received on Friday, 19 December 2008 21:14:55 GMT

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