Re: Shapes/ShEx or the worrying issue of yet another syntax and lack of validated vision.

On 07/18/2014 06:00 PM, Kendall Clark wrote:
> Why take out all of them instead of removing the one that's immature?  
> Near as I can tell ShEx is less than a year old. Does W3 Team really 
> think it should be promoted in place of something like SPIN or ICV, 
> which are 5 or 6 years old? That's indefensible.

As I recall, there was consensus at the RDF Validation Workshop against 
using either SPIN or ICV.   My memory is nowhere near perfect, but I 
remember this pretty clearly, since both results surprised me.   I 
assumed Evrin would try to convince people of the merits of ICV and 
would object to any other solution, but he didn't.  I assumed lots of 
people would like SPARQL for validation, since it's already widely 
deployed.  Instead, there was agreement that SPARQL-like syntaxes are 
not suitable for the use cases people in the room cared about.

I expect these points of consensus, and the the requirements that drove 
them, are what motivated the creation of ShEx.

And that's why the Charter was developed as it was, steering away from 

What I'm hearing now is that for whatever reasons, the Workshop was 
surprisingly non-representative of the industry, or perhaps was run in a 
way which corrupted the signal.   Maybe several of us somehow 
misunderstood what Evrin was saying, or maybe he misunderstood the 
question being asked.  Maybe the SPARQL question was framed incorrectly 
when discussed.  Maybe the wrong people were at the Workshop.    
Fortunately, it's not too late to change course.

So, with that in mind, would it work to just take out the mentions of 
specific technologies/solutions from the charter?

      -- Sandro

> Cheers,
> Kendall
> On Friday, July 18, 2014, Sandro Hawke < 
> <>> wrote:
>     On 07/18/2014 04:40 PM, Jerven Bolleman wrote:
>>     I completely agree with Kendall.
>>     A standard would look at the similarities between Resource Shapes, ICV and SPIN and see if a common syntax can be achieved.
>>     What seems to be happening instead is that a 4th independent option is being designed.
>>     Which means that the real standard will then need to look into standardising Shex, Resource Shapes, ICV and SPIN.
>>     Giving standard number 5, which is how WG’s become inspiration for XKCD and Dilbert comics…
>>     ShEX currently reuses practically nothing of the earlier work or existing W3C standards.
>>     And a lot is being said about usability but no one recalls the sad joke.
>>         Some people, when confronted with a problem, think
>>         “I know, I'll use regular expressions.”   Now they have two problems.
>>     ASCII art is not a requirement any more.
>>     Saving bits is a goal of compression algorithms.
>>     Code should strive for readability, especially validation code.
>>     E.g. this SPARQL pseudo style of using
>>     { [] foaf:name xsd:string }
>>     XOR
>>     { [] foaf:givenName xsd:string }
>>     Is a much better idea than
>>     { foaf:name xsd:string ;
>>        | foaf:givenName xsd:string }
>>     Where we started using the binary OR symbol to mean XOR and that is rather similar to || or the normal OR people are exposed to.
>>     For the rest I saw the UniProt ShEX example and it is not at all representative for what a database like UniProt really needs.
>>     Attached to this e-mail is PDF/poster about how SPIN is actually looked at in the UniProt consortium.
>>     All in all I really encourage the Charter writers to really look at what is out there being used in the semweb world.
>>     And look at standardising that instead of looking to the XML and Regex planets, which we thankfully left behind.
>     Would it work to just take out the mentions of specific
>     technologies/solutions from the charter?
>     (Note that the charter may have changed since you last read it.)
>           -- Sandro
>>     Regards,
>>     Jerven
>>     On 18 Jul 2014, at 18:24, Kendall Clark<>  <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','');>  wrote:
>>>     On Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM, Dimitris Kontokostas<>  <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','');>  wrote:
>>>     Instead of criticizing what ShEx can't do we should all try to see what ShEx should do.
>>>     Why? Standards bodies should be about standardizing existing systems. This is one thing the W3C has consistently gotten wrong in the semantic web space: too much speculative research done in the guise of standardization.
>>>     I think we all agree that a compact human syntax (with equivalent RDF representation) that covers common validations cases and SPARQL extensions is something we all want.
>>>     SPIN, IBM Resource Shapes, and Stardog ICV already provide that. You can't get any more compact human syntax than, say, Manchester OWL syntax for constraints: see  for many *real* examples from shipping code.
>>>     I too don't like some parts of ShEx but I think it's a good initiative to bootstrap a standard.
>>>     That isn't how standardization works best.
>>>     I already raised some issues in the mailing list and have a few more from my experience with RDFUnit - but will raise them later since the maintainers are now too busy replying.
>>>     Those are all valid, interesting points for ShEx, which is at this point an interesting proof of concept or prototype of an idea. That work should be carried out in an R&D context. W3C Working Groups are not R&D contexts.
>>>     Cheers,
>>>     Kendall Clark
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Received on Friday, 18 July 2014 22:39:20 UTC