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Re: How do you deprecate URIs? Re: OWL-DL and linked data

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2008 12:11:24 +0100
Message-ID: <48749CDC.1050801@danbri.org>
To: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>, Peter Ansell <ansell.peter@gmail.com>
Cc: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>, semantic-web at W3C <semantic-web@w3c.org>, public-lod@w3.org

Bijan Parsia wrote:
> On Jul 9, 2008, at 1:48 AM, Peter Ansell wrote:
> [snip]
>> For the record, I am not trying to flame anyone, just trying to tease
>> out usable alternatives,
> 
> Then I would suggest not claiming that the people you are disputing with 
> are out of touch, unrealistic, fuddy-duddys.

I probably introduced that theme into the conversation; sorry about that.

I wrote "Call me old fashioned, but owl:sameAs means what it means as 
defined in the OWL specs." in 
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/semantic-web/2008Jul/0139.html


In http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/semantic-web/2008Jul/0146.html
Peter writes:

 > Sorry, just trying to highlight the fact that a core group of semantic
 > type academics don't want to acknowledge or provide alternatives for a
 > gap which could, if warnings about not using owl:sameAs liberally are
 > real, actually break down the whole idea when one wants to move from
 > their little local ontology to a distributed semantic web.

Peter, I hope you can see how this kind of language might be unhelpful.

In particular, stereotyping people as "academics" does nothing to 
further the collaboration that is essential to getting this semweb stuff 
rolled out. There is no shame in being academic or scholarly around 
here. Nor in reading books. Nor for that matter in working for a company.

I am also puzzled by the claim that it is the duty of this "core group 
of semantic type academics" to define the desired mapping language. We 
put a *lot* of effort into building a decentralised system here. Anyone 
can go and write up some new vocabulary.

Members of this mailing list (including Bijan and 100s of others) have 
varied experience working in academic, commercial, standards, opensource 
and many other settings. Reducing each other to one-dimensional 
stereotypes (the "ivory tower professor" etc.) does a huge disservice to 
the wealth of experience we have on this mailing list. Please do not do 
it. Acting like schoolkids is also a questionable use of bandwidth. Even 
when funny...

This project (W3C RDF, OWL etc aka the 'Semantic Web' project) did not 
come from academia, it came originally from an industry-oriented 
standards body, addressing requirements drawing on content labelling, 
digital library and Webby activities through a technology (essentially 
MCF) that was submitted to W3C by a browser company, but which had 
intellectual heritage in the KR world. Which might go some way to 
explaining the eclectic salad of people, technology and ideas around 
here, and some of the communication challenges we face.

Strong interest from the academic world came a few years into the RDF/SW 
project. But if you look at the people involved they have often been 
crossovers between a variety of worlds. RDF and OWL are without a doubt 
stronger, more robust and more ('realworld'-)deployable because of the 
contributions of people you might call "academic". Book-reading types. 
The version of RDF that shipped in 1999 was something of a mess: the 
spec was intriguing and evocative, but hard to understand and implement. 
Being poetically evocative is not something you generally want in an 
engineering spec. The specs we have now (and the addition of OWL) are 
some improvement on that, largely due to the collaboration we built 
between people from this list and nearby. Which is why I'll make a fuss 
if I see listmembers slip into stereotyping and cartoonish tribalism. We 
can do better...

cheers,

Dan

--
http://danbri.org/
Received on Wednesday, 9 July 2008 11:12:10 UTC

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