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Re: review of XML in 10 points [was: AGENDA...]

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2001 12:00:30 -0600
Message-Id: <p0510101ab836ad76e6f8@[65.212.118.193]>
To: Janet Daly <janet@w3.org>
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>, bert@w3.org, em@w3.org, liam@w3.org, "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>, www-webont-wg@w3.org, w3t-comm@w3.org
>Dan Connolly wrote:
>>
>>  Pat Hayes wrote:
>>  >
>>  > >As it has come up in the Semantic Web Coordination Group, it 
>>might be worth
>>  > >spending a short while discussing point nine of XML in 10 points.  As you
>>  > >might expect I have strong reservations about the claims 
>>therein concerning
>>  > >RDF.
>>  >
>>  > Me too. We really ought to put a stern stop to this kind of thing, as
>>  > publicly as possible; it is simply irresponsible to make claims like
>>  > this. Who wrote this rubbish?
>>
>
>Well, Pat, you can point to me. I'm Head of the W3C Communications Team,
>and I signed it. That means ultimately I own it.
>
>Allow me to present our problem, and a question:
>
>Given that this document is intended for general consumption;

Maybe that is crucial. I'm not clear what 'general' means here. Maybe 
I havn't been to enough XML meetings; but that document, in its 
overall style and content, would have had all the appeal to me, and I 
suspect to anyone with a technical training, of the colored 
advertising supplements in the Sunday paper that I throw away without 
even looking at.

What audience are you trying to reach? If this is some kind of 
mass-marketing initiative then you are playing a game here that I 
have never played, so maybe I ought to just shut up about it. The 
trouble, for me, is that I know about what you are selling, and I 
know it cannot possibly live up to what you are saying about it. I 
feel like a chemist reading an advert for a drug that describes it as 
a miracle cure for all ills. (I guess as long as I don't work for the 
company, I don't really need to worry....)

>and
>
>Given that in the next 48 hours it will be distributed at a conference
>where the term "Semantic Web" is met, optimally, with mild revulsion,
>and  XML is perceived as the only (meta)-language of worth;
>
>How would you then make the connection between RDF, the Semantic Web,
>and XML work, and
>keep it at the 3rd grade reading level?

Good question. I wouldn't.  I really don't give a rat's ass about 
people who read at the 3rd-grade level.

But you may have some larger plan of which I know nothing, so maybe 
my remarks were off the wall. I read the thing that Peter circulated 
in the context of the WebOnt WG, which is a technically savvy bunch.

I will try to be more constructive in the near future :-)

>Peter started with some language suggestions, but veered off into more
>critique which, while factually accurate, appears to miss the objective.

Which is?? (I genuinely do not know.)

>That is, if your objective is to have improvements to a document, you
>don't treat the people responsible with disrespect.

I was more in howling mode than improvement mode, sorry.

>So, Pat, your language skills appear strong; it would be great if those
>skills channeled to our mutual benefit before I leave France for
>Seattle, which is in 6.5 hours.

Sorry that I only got this message on Friday 11am CT, which is 
probably too late. But I will try to send you something ASAP, later 
today.

>Peter, the offer is also extended to
>you.
>
>It will also be good practice for the press work that will come with
>documents this WG publishes. I can assure you that the "technically
>accurate" RDF Model and Syntax Recommendation Press Release, which was
>written by me three years ago, had the public impact of a wet sock.
>Could we work together to strike the balance?

I will certainly be willing to help in any way I can.  I would like 
to have a better sense of the intended target audience, though.

There are plenty of things written about the SW (eg by Tim B-L, Jim 
Hendler, Frank van Harmelen and many others) that have a very upbeat 
tone and read to me as being exciting; but maybe these are too 
N-th-grade for some N>3 (?)

Pat
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Received on Friday, 7 December 2001 13:00:38 GMT

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