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Re: is shexc useful?

From: Holger Knublauch <holger@topquadrant.com>
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2014 07:42:58 +1000
Message-ID: <53E2A162.8060200@topquadrant.com>
To: public-rdf-shapes@w3.org
May I add that today I have received positive feedback on SPIN from the 
6th commercial RDF database vendor (basically all vendors that I have 
contacted). Our customers and TQ have used SPIN in production systems 
for five years. There has been professional and free (open source) tool 
support for years. SPIN has passed the test of time and "just works".

You can of course ignore all this and reinvent the wheel because there 
*might be* some delta that SPIN doesn't cover yet. But it will be more 
fruitful to identify that delta and add it to an existing solution such 
as SPIN.

Holger


On 8/7/14, 6:51 AM, Irene Polikoff wrote:
>
> Sandro,
>
> < That's essentially true of every technology working its way through 
> W3C.  Whatever comes into the process gets turned into something else 
> on its way to Rec.   When things work properly, along the way, it 
> picks up lots of production implementations, gets lots of companies 
> standing behind it, and probably gets some books.   Whatever of those 
> things it had before starting the process.... those things maybe help 
> bootstrap the process, but they're also a drag on the process since 
> they often require backward compatibility.    Are the current SPIN and 
> ICV users perfectly okay with those technologies being changed by the 
> WG?   So having those things at the start is a mixed blessing.   
> Probably a net positive, but still a mixed blessing.>
>
> On this topic you and I have an important philosophical disagreement. 
> I believe that practical experiences of using implemented technologies 
> in deployed situations (and I don’t include academic work in this 
> category) are critical to “getting things right”. They keep one 
> grounded, focused on what is real and what is important as opposed to 
> someone’s theory of what may be needed. Without this, having the 
> resulting standard “work properly” is very unlikely. Does it happen? 
> Yes, but not often.
>
> When a new “standard” reaches a recommendation status, there will be 
> some people implementing it, some people writing about it, etc. 
> whether it is practically useful or not. But, if it misses the target, 
> this community will remain a very small minority. Unfortunately, this 
> has been true for a number of W3C recommendations.
>
> Regards,
>
> Irene
>
> *From:*Sandro Hawke [mailto:sandro@w3.org]
> *Sent:* Wednesday, August 06, 2014 2:38 PM
> *To:* Kendall Clark
> *Cc:* Holger Knublauch; public-rdf-shapes@w3.org
> *Subject:* is shexc useful?
>
> [changing the subject, since you changed the topic]
>
> On 08/06/2014 08:58 AM, Kendall Clark wrote:
>
>     On Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 8:30 AM, Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org
>     <mailto:sandro@w3.org>> wrote:
>
>
>     Is it?    To me it looks like someone combined data structure
>     definitions from any language that has such things (Pascal, C,
>     Java, Go, ....) with the Kleene operators, known to every
>     programmer from EBNF and RegExps.
>
>     Eric may have been thinking about relaxng, but the design makes
>     prefect sense and seems completely familiar to some of us not
>     steeped in relaxng
>
>     Isn't this still a vendor organization?
>
>
> W3C is probably more accurately described as a multi-stakeholder 
> organization.   Its mission involves the good of the Web, not 
> specifically the good of its members or a set of vendors.   The 
> arguments that should win the day are grounded in what's going to be 
> long-term good for the Web (and the world at large), much more than 
> good for one specific vendor or set of vendors.
>
>
>
> Whatever you want to say about the origin and quality of ShEx syntax 
> (I don't like it at all, personally), the fact remains:
>
> * it has no users
>
>
> The reply from Jose Emilio Labra Gayo shows otherwise.
>
>
> * it has no production implementations
>
> * it has no *company* standing behind it to support it in the market
>
> * it has no experts writing books about it
>
>
> That's essentially true of every technology working its way through 
> W3C.  Whatever comes into the process gets turned into something else 
> on its way to Rec.   When things work properly, along the way, it 
> picks up lots of production implementations, gets lots of companies 
> standing behind it, and probably gets some books.   Whatever of those 
> things it had before starting the process.... those things maybe help 
> bootstrap the process, but they're also a drag on the process since 
> they often require backward compatibility.    Are the current SPIN and 
> ICV users perfectly okay with those technologies being changed by the 
> WG?   So having those things at the start is a mixed blessing.   
> Probably a net positive, but still a mixed blessing.
>
>
>
> I have told Holger many times privately that I don't really like SPIN 
> too much, but it has *all* of the above things and more. Same goes for 
> IBM Resource Shapes.
>
> ShEx is a research project and nothing more. I thought we weren't 
> doing R&D in W3C WGs any more?
>
>
> It seems to me like it's aways a matter of degree, with every WG doing 
> some R&D.   What we don't want is a REC whose predicted success is 
> based on untested assumptions.    But all these inputs took to me to 
> have various untested assumptions, when you consider them being 
> applied to all the use cases being presented.
>
>
>
> There are *three* at least *adequate* commercial solutions to start 
> from. There's simply no need for ShEx.
>
>
> I've seen a variety of statements from people on this list, and at the 
> workshop, that seem to disagree.
>
>
> Cheers,
>
> Kendall
>
> PS--No offense meant to EricP: he's a fine researcher in this space 
> and I'm sure there are several good papers to be written about ShEx.
>
>
> My understanding is Eric isn't trying to do research.   He's been 
> trying to solve the problem that the Workshop brought to light.  
> Success will be technology adoption and user satisfaction, not 
> publications.   If the technology turns out not to be useful, that's 
> also success for Eric -- the problem is still solved.
>
>
> But this is standardization of a space that has, in some sense, *too 
> many* starting points, not too few. SPIN, Resource Shapes, and even 
> ICV are all *real* systems in comparison.
>
>
> Yes, but the workshop conclusion was none of those were sufficient.   
> Perhaps that conclusion was wrong, I know. This is something the WG 
> will have to determine.   IMHO there's no point is us trying to figure 
> it out via this list.
>
>      -- Sandro
>
Received on Wednesday, 6 August 2014 21:43:33 UTC

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