W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-webont-wg@w3.org > September 2003

Re: FAQs, best practices, ESW Wiki

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2003 05:34:15 -0400
Message-Id: <p05200f3abb8f29eeec29@[]>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, www-webont-wg@w3.org

  my nervousness about a WIKI is "social" rather than technical - I 
very much like the openess and accessibility of a WIKI, 
unfortunately, in my experience when a Wiki gets popular and heavily 
used, it attracts the nuts, who then ruin it -- this has happened to 
us a couple of times at Md where we've been trying to use Wikis in 
both our  .  Reconstructing the "good stuff" after someone has 
trashed stuff seems like it would be easy (just restore from the 
history), but it is not so easy if osmeone makes a lot of changes to 
stuff that is linked to each other -- several of our most successful 
wikis at UMCP had to go to password protection because of these 
"maintenance" issues.  Problem is for something like an OWL how-to, 
assuming it does get used, it would be hard to patrol and maintain.
  What we found does work a little better is Wiki's used for the 
annotation of some "controlled" content -- a simple example is that 
when I use Wiki's in my class, I put the assignment page on my web 
site, and create an assignment discussion page on the Wiki, with a 
link.  This means the students cannot rewrite the assignment, but 
they can discuss it, post ideas, discuss other peoples ideas etc.
  What I was thinking is that if we had our how-to page somewhere in 
W3C space maintained by an editor, linked to a Wiki where a lot more 
could happen, it will keep us from doing MORE work if the Wiki 
becomes successful and then needs someone to maintain it.

At 3:29 PM -0500 9/17/03, Dan Connolly wrote:
>"ACTION DanC: Propose Wiki be used for FAQ"
>  -- minutes 11Sep
>   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-webont-wg/2003Sep/0163.html
>The subject of a FAQ list, best practice guides, and cookbooks
>have come up in this WG a few times.
>It also came up in the DAML joint-committee
>I'm sure everybody agrees that We Should have one of these;
>it's a question of how, when, who, and the like.
>The FAQ that went out with the OWL CR was written by Jim...
>   http://www.w3.org/2003/08/owlfaq
>   http://www.w3.org/2003/08/owlfaq.html
>   http://www.w3.org/2003/08/owlfaq.html.fr
>and edited by Janet and a few others in the W3C team.
>But that sort of W3C communications team resource isn't
>available on an ongoing basis, and I don't think Jim
>is volunteering to do it regularly.
>The best mechanism I've seen for documenting community
>wisdom in a scalable way is WikiWikiWeb. The European
>Commission funded some semantic web outreach work,
>and we used some of that funding to set up a wiki...
>   "ESW can stand for Evolving, European, Experimental,
>   Extended, Enthusiastic, ... Semantic Web, reflecting its
>   origins in the SWAD-Europe project, and affiliation with
>   the wider RDF / Semantic Web Interest Group."
>     -- http://esw.w3.org/topic/FrontPage
>I'll let it explain itself a bit more...
>This is a WikiWikiWeb, a collaborative hypertext environment, with an
>emphasis on easy access to and modification of information. It is
>something of an experiment in WikiConsensus. In some ways the open
>nature of a Wiki is not that different from W3C's open, archived mailing
>lists. In other ways it is rather different (see BeesAndAnts), and
>perhaps more supportive of coming to consensus.
>You can edit any page by following the link at the bottom of the page.
>Capitalized words joined together form a WikiName, which hyperlinks to
>another page. The highlighted title searches for all pages that link to
>the current page. Pages which do not yet exist are linked with a
>question mark: just follow the link and you can create a suitable page.
>This wiki is particularly focussed on the SemanticWeb, but any W3C work
>areas are on-topic here. There are lots of other wikis (see InterWiki)
>which may be more appropriate for some subjects.
>It is good to speak in the community voice, at least when you have some
>idea how the community might think about a subject. It's nice to log in
>using UserPreferences, so people can see who made which changes. Browse
>this wiki and others to get an example of style and etiquette.
>Last week DebM pointed us to a sort of cookbook entry...
>   Working with a closed world assumption in OWL/DAML+OIL
>So I took that and integrated it into the ESW Wiki by
>creating a ClosedWorldAssumptions topic linked
>from SemanticWebArchitecture, and then giving ClosingRoles
>as an example of how to approximate support for
>I'm not quite sure I understood the closingRoles.html document.
>And the topic has already grown a disagreeing annotation.
>But I trust it will evolve to reflect community wisdom
>in due course.
>I hope to try out a couple more topics presently...
>   a recipie for ont:UnambiguousProperty, rdfs:isDefinedBy
>   From: Dan Connolly (connolly@w3.org)
>   Date: 05/16/01
>   http://www.daml.org/listarchive/joint-committee/0418.html
>   http://www.daml.org/listarchive/joint-committee/0419.html
>I think the potential for synergy between OWL FAQs, RDF
>FAQs, URI FAQs, and XML FAQs is considerable. I had a good
>time moving a centrally-maintained list into the UriSchemes
>topic, and the synergy with topics like FollowYourNose
>is already apparent.
>Jim writes...
>I have thought about this a while, I worry about a WIKI approach
>- we want to control some of this -- I think a WIKI page for users to
>be able to write/comment that is linked to a page maintained
>somewhere in W3C space makes much more sense.  I propose we consider
>starting this page as a WG, putting an "expiration date" on it equal
>to end of our WG (i.e. no commmitment beyond our chartered date) --
>we would then have an expectation that the new SWIG (if approved)
>would take this over, but we would have no commitment if they don't.
>I don't want any more control than the Wiki gives me.
>Other folks in the WG could maintain pages in the
>http://www.w3.org/* space, as Mike does with
>the issues list and Jos and Jeremy do with the
>test materials. There's a certain level of tedium
>involved, but I suppose it might be tolerable.
>I have considered doing that, and the cost of
>having all edits funnelled thru one person
>(or a few people) doesn't look worthwhile to me.
>Lest anyone should doubt that this wiki approach can scale,
>yes, there are considerable risks
>(cf http://c2.com/cgi-bin/wiki?CommunityLifeCycle)
>but it can also work amazingly well
>(cf http://www.wikipedia.org/). My position is: if
>the world wants a good OWL FAQ, the Wiki is the
>best available mechanism to create and maintain it;
>if the world doesn't want a good OWL FAQ, no centralized
>writing effort is very likely to change that.
>Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/

Professor James Hendler				  hendler@cs.umd.edu
Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies	  301-405-2696
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.	  301-405-6707 (Fax)
Univ of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742	  *** 240-277-3388 (Cell)
http://www.cs.umd.edu/users/hendler      *** NOTE CHANGED CELL NUMBER ***
Received on Thursday, 18 September 2003 05:34:26 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:56:55 UTC