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Re: A rant about the terminology debate

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2012 12:25:53 -0400
Message-ID: <503CF111.7030201@openlinksw.com>
To: public-rdf-wg@w3.org
On 8/28/12 12:03 PM, Steve Harris wrote:
> On 2012-08-25, at 07:55, Ivan Herman wrote:
>> On Aug 24, 2012, at 22:00 , Antoine Zimmermann wrote:
>> [snip]
>>> I'm 100% with Richard on this issue and I propose that we make the following resolution:
>>> 1. if a term is normatively defined by RDF 1.0, we adopt it for RDF 1.1 without any change;
>>> 2. if a term is normatively defined by SPARQL and we want to put the concept in RDF 1.1, we adopt it without any change;
>>> 3. for all terms that do not have a normative definition yet in either RDF or SPARQL, we leave the discussion open to settle on a term.
>> +1. No, +e^infinity
>> A terminological discussion is like a religious war: it may never end and it hurts everybody.
> +1
> - Steve

So what happens when terminology is ambiguous to practitioners and 
incomprehensible to target audiences?

Simple example:
Is RDF seeking to be coherent to those that switch off once they 
encounter the letters R-D-F? Or is it aiming to resonate with folks that 
understand DBMS basics (e.g., massive RDBMS market).

I can tell you with absolute certainty that tabular presentation of 
3-tuples showcasing reference values (URIs) is an absolute no-brainer 
for any RDBMS practitioner. Representing the same thing via RDF/XML, 
RDFa etc.. is a head twister since the fundamental structure isn't 
clearly visible.

I can also tell you with absolute certainty that any RDBMS practitioner 
knows what  Data Source Names are. They also understand the concept of 
denotation and de-reference etc..

Terminology matters because its the critical component for building 
bridges with other communities. Being an insular community hasn't helped 
RDF to date. It is my hope (and I truly believe we are making progress) 
that this work group takes the importance of terminology seriously. It 
doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to resonate with relevant 
target communities.

The RDBMS community is the best friend (ultimately) of RDF.

The Web 2.0 will always switch off once the encounter the letters R-D-F.

Warning: on this particular issue my rant stamina is endless :-)



Kingsley Idehen	
Founder & CEO
OpenLink Software
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Received on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 16:26:31 UTC

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