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RE: D-AC009.2 discussion points and proposal(s)

From: David Booth <dbooth@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 18:17:45 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: www-ws-arch@w3.org
Cc: "David Orchard" <dorchard@bea.com>
At 03:33 PM 5/21/2002 -0700, "David Orchard" <dorchard@bea.com> wrote:
>The W3C membership CLEARLY indicated that web services IS decoupled from the
>Semantic Web Activity.  . . . .

Although more people spoke out in favor of decoupling Web Services work 
from the Semantic Web activity than those who spoke out against such 
decoupling, I think it's only fair to point out that there were strong 
voices on both sides of the question.

A search of the w3c-ac-forum email list ( 
) yielded 20 hits, of which 18 (excerpted below) seem to pertain to this 
issue.  Of those, it looks to me like about 10 of those who wrote were in 
favor of decoupling and about 5 were against decoupling.

Here are excerpts of the search results.  I have tried to ensure that these 
excerpts accurately characterize the sense of the authors' complete 
messages (relative to this issue), but please refer to the original 
messages for the full context if there is a question.


http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001OctDec/0199.html :
Tim Clark, Millennium Pharmaceuticals:
"Relationship with Semantic Web activities is potentially very important, 
especially for Life Sciences applications where ontologies play a 
significant role. The charter should include a statement requiring active 
liaison between the Web Services activity and both W3C WebOnt and DAML 
Services (DAML-S) groups."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001OctDec/0198.html :
Ora Lassila, Nokia:
"Relationship with Semantic Web activities is important; the current 
proposal mentions this only in passing and does not sufficiently emphasize 
the importance. The charter should include a statement about liaison 
between the Web Services activity and both W3C WebOnt and DAML Services 
(DAML-S) groups."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001OctDec/0186.html :
David Orchard, BEA:
"Web Services should be loosely coupled to Semantic Web and RDF. Semantic 
Web suggested changes to Web Services should be evaluated by the working 
groups and architecture groups, but not mandated in any charters."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001OctDec/0076.html :
Don Deutsch, Oracle:
'we do NOT favor mandating the use of the Resource Description Framework 
(RDF) for "any semantically significant information" at this time.'

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001OctDec/0071.html :
Eric Newcomer, Iona:
"The semantic web represents a wonderful vision, but Web services represent 
the next significant practical use of the web. We should ensure the success 
of Web services first, and the top priority. The semantic web effort stands 
to be more meaningful in the context of a Web services enabled Web since 
the Web will be much more useful to business and society than it is today. 
. . . .   Can anyone really imagine trying to reinvent [SOAP, WSDL, and 
other associated technologies] using RDF? Certainly RDF has its place, and 
would have equal place in the Web services enabled world."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001OctDec/0070.html :
Tex Texin, Progress Software:
"RDF and Web Services should not be coupled at this time."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001OctDec/0060.html :
Joe Meadows, Boeing:
"We . . . believe that the Semantic Web activity is very important, and 
that ignoring the ability to leverage semantically significant information 
would be a major drawback to any implementation, thus we strongly encourage 
that the issue not be sidestepped, but rather, be addressed head on."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001OctDec/0027.html :
Johan Hjelm, Ericsson:
"web services come first and then, later, semantic web technologies are 
applied to the web services registries and the like.  . . . Keeping the 
architecture as clean as possible, keeping dependencies as few and small as 
possible, should be a goal in itself. And if dependencies exist, they need 
to be documented early and it should be possible to provide a modular 
implementation - preferrably one where the dependencies can be removed (so 
that you can implement web services without RDF, but if you do it with RDF, 
it becomes much better than otherwise... carrot instead of stick. That 
would be interesting to see)."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001OctDec/0002.html :
Frederick Hirsch, Zolera Systems:
"Dynamically assembling comprehensive web services to meet specified 
criteria such as quality of service or cost will require processing as 
exemplified in the semantic web vision. Such XML services will require meta 
information and decisions. For this reason we believe the W3C activity 
should focus on the XML Service Description working group proposal and 
attempt to create a new, simple yet elegant solution that fits the 
architecture of the semantic web. . . .  Despite the benefits of WSDL, 
considering a different semantic web based approach, and consolidating 
layers, might produce a simpler, generic solution.  Rather than rushing to 
approve an industry proposal, we believe the W3C should focus on producing 
a simple, powerful and long term solution."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001JulSep/0214.html :
Alexander Falk, Altova:
"Web Services . . . are a top priority for standardization. . . . The 
Semantic Web, RDF, and ontologies . . . [are] more a "research" matter, 
whereas things like Web Services are a clear "development" matter and more 
important in the short-term. . . .  [For] the foregoing reasons, Web 
Services and RDF or the Semantic Web should be decoupled."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001JulSep/0211.html :
David Orchard, BEA:
"BEA Systems strongly opposes the coupling of RDF and the Semantic web to 
the Web Services standardization efforts.  RDF and Semantic Web activities 
may eventually provide very valuable solutions to problems facing 
developers and organizations in the future. But that does not appear to be 
the case today."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001JulSep/0193.html :
Mark Wood, Eastman Kodak:
"The work of the Semantic Web activity is not yet mature nor widely 
accepted. Consequently, at this time we see no reason to mandate the use of 
RDF for Web Services, although that may be appropriate in the future."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001JulSep/0186.html :
Michael Wilson Chair, CLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory:
"CLRC views the service descriptions as requiring graph beyond hierarchy 
structure and therefore RDF would be more appropriate than XML Schema."

Oisin Hurley, Iona:
"While the Web Services and Semantic Web activities may both live quite 
happily as isolated works, I think there is a potential great benefit in 
studying and effecting their intersection. However I do not think that this 
benefit will be immediately obvious or executable, so I would say that both 
activities should come to a certain level of maturity before a initiative 
is undertaken to find cross-applications."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001JulSep/0184.html :
Renato Iannella, IPR Systems:
"IPR Systems would strongly prefer to see any proposed Activity for a Web 
services language to be based on XML Schema. XML Schema should be 
considered by W3C as the core schema language for "common infrastructure". 
(Unfortunately, RDF/RDF Schema poses too many unknowns into the equation.)"

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001JulSep/0182.html :
Eve Maler, Sun:
"we're concerned about taking on small pieces of work without developing 
them against a coherent vision. To this end, we believe the TAG should be 
formed as quickly as possible and should immediately begin developing an 
architectural vision with which the web services description work can later 
align as necessary. The TAG would be the appropriate forum to consider 
fully the potential relationship of the semantic web and web services."

Roger Cutler, Chevron:
"On the face of it, the WSDL activity seems much more attractive than the 
RDF-specific proposal. For one thing, it has the backing of industry 
heavyweights already and considerable de facto acceptance. If the W3C goes 
in some other direction I think there is a definite risk of being ignored. 
Moreover, if that happened WSDL would not get the needed "working over" in 
terms of integration and validation, and possibly extension, that a W3C 
working group would give it, so de facto acceptance might lead to flawed 
implementation. Finally, it seems to me premature to make a commitment to 
using RDF, the new kid on the block, for a high priority main-line function 
like this."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-forum/2001JulSep/0166.html :
Franz Fritz, SAP:
"We do not see the absolute necessity to align WSDL with RDF in the first 

David Booth
W3C Fellow / Hewlett-Packard
Telephone: +1.617.253.1273
Received on Wednesday, 22 May 2002 19:36:50 UTC

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