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

From: Thomas Baker <tom@tombaker.org>
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2014 12:58:31 -0400
Message-ID: <CACwgL9pM1=8Qsqmf3s6zjCGQm0Hz+BMmaW-9p+vh0jq3a212Eg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Cc: Kendall Clark <kendall@clarkparsia.com>, Jose Emilio Labra Gayo <jelabra@gmail.com>, "Dam, Jesse van" <jesse.vandam@wur.nl>, Jerven Bolleman <jerven.bolleman@isb-sib.ch>, "public-rdf-shapes@w3.org" <public-rdf-shapes@w3.org>, Dimitris Kontokostas <kontokostas@informatik.uni-leipzig.de>
Sandro Hawke wrote:
> 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.

As I recall, there was support for a user facing syntax that would compile
to SPARQL.

Tom








>
> 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
SPIN and ICV.
>
> 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 <sandro@w3.org> 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 <kendall@clarkparsia.com>
wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> On Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM, Dimitris Kontokostas <
kontokostas@informatik.uni-leipzig.de> 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 http://docs.stardog.com/icv 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
>>>>
>>>> -------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Jerven Bolleman                        Jerven.Bolleman@isb-sib.ch
>>>> SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics      Tel: +41 (0)22 379 58 85
>>>> CMU, rue Michel Servet 1               Fax: +41 (0)22 379 58 58
>>>> 1211 Geneve 4,
>>>> Switzerland     www.isb-sib.ch - www.uniprot.org
>>>> Follow us at https://twitter.com/#!/uniprot
>>>> -------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>
>>>
>
Received on Saturday, 19 July 2014 16:58:59 UTC

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