W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-ws-arch@w3.org > July 2002

Re: Semantics

From: Francis McCabe <fgm@fla.fujitsu.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 09:20:50 -0700
Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org
To: "Damodaran, Suresh" <Suresh_Damodaran@stercomm.com>
Message-Id: <D40564D0-980E-11D6-8B75-000393A3327C@fla.fujitsu.com>

   Essentially it boils down to the interactions between entities that 
are owned by different people.

   Firstly, note that there is a difference between publicly observable 
semantics and publicly observed communication. I.e., we are talking 
about the form of the communication/descriptions etc rather than the 
actual communicated information.

  If I may draw an analogy with security here: the encryption algorithm 
being public benefits all users of the encryption algorithm; and 
actually makes the communicated text more secure (assuming the algorithm 
stands up to scrutiny of course).

  It turns out that if the very method of describing the meaning of a 
service (or anything else for that matter) relies on unobservable 
characteristics then you get into a lot of trouble; in particular it 
becomes impossible to test for compliance.

  The wording could be clearer; but the intention is to make sure that 
the principles for any semantic descriptions are set out properly. It 
isn't necessary to preclude a private agreement; what is necessary is to 
preclude a private agreement about the forms of messages and 
descriptions. For example, we might have an out of band agreement that 
the words yes and no should be swapped in their meaning. If that is not 
documented then everyone is in trouble, especially you when I renage on 
our agreement! With a public semantics it makes possible services such 
as escrow, non-repudiation etc etc. As well as generally oiling the 
wheels of interactions.

BTW, the requirements that come out of this goal should, IMO, primarily 
result in requirements to the semantic web folks. From our POV we merely 
need mechanisms to permit the description of services in a clear way, 
and to provide architectural elements and mechanisms for managing 

Semantics is a critical piece of the overall web services field, simply 
because of the public nature of the Internet.

Frank McCabe

On Friday, July 12, 2002, at 04:15  PM, Damodaran, Suresh wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Francis McCabe [mailto:fgm@fla.fujitsu.com]
> Sent: Friday, July 12, 2002 5:23 PM
> To: www-ws-arch@w3.org
> Subject: Semantics
> D-AC026.2.3 It must be possible to characterize a service using purely 
> publicly observable semantics. I.e., the semantic description of a web 
> service should not rely on private agreements or on unobservable 
> characteristics of services and agents.
> <sd> Why? </sd>
> Thanks,
> -Suresh
> Sterling Commerce  
Received on Monday, 15 July 2002 12:20:58 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:40:57 UTC