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

From: Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol) <skw@hp.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 17:43:47 +0000
To: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
CC: "www-tag@w3.org WG" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <233101CD2D78D64E8C6691E90030E5C8277F59084C@GVW1120EXC.americas.hpqcorp.net>


> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-tag-request@w3.org [mailto:www-tag-request@w3.org] 
> On Behalf Of Jonathan Rees
> Sent: 19 December 2008 21:14
> To: www-tag@w3.org WG
> Subject: Proposal to remove the phrase "Semantic Web" from 
> the Self-Describing Web draft finding
> 
> 
> 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.

FWIW, whilst I haven't been able to take the time to review your detailed suggestions I have felt the same when encountering the phrase "the self-describing semantic web" in that it seems to cast the semantic web as a definite thing from the web. 

> 
> 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.

ditto.

> 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.

In that spirit I'd have a preference that Jonathan's suggested changes be applied to the document (trusting in Jonathan and Henry who have given the details more careful review than I).

> -Jonathan

BR

Stuart
--
Hewlett-Packard Limited registered Office: Cain Road, Bracknell, Berks RG12 1HN
Registered No: 690597 England
> 
> -----
> 
> 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 Thursday, 15 January 2009 17:48:08 GMT

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