W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdfa@w3.org > May 2009

Re: Wiki-based vocabulary website idea

From: Michael Lang <michaelalang@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 11:31:37 -0400
Message-ID: <af3913f90905190831q67ec03d2i5853ec62658d8139@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Mike Lang Jr." <mikelangjr@revelytix.com>
Cc: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>, Lee Feigenbaum <lee@thefigtrees.net>, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, RDFa TF list <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>, Public RDFa <public-rdfa@w3.org>
Thanks for opening up this important topic, there is way too much confusion
on these issues.

1. www.knoodl.com is an open, non-proprietary, commercial software product.

2. It supports all of the standard protocols for interoperation, TCP/IP,
HTTP, and SPARQL. As far as I know these are the accepted protocols for
interoperation on the World Wide Web, and there are no others. We do not
support any proprietary protocols and do not even publish any API that might
require such protocols.

3. We support most of the W3C standards for syntax and semantics including
XML, XSD, RDF, OWL (lite, full and DL), SPARQL, and SWRL (coming very soon).

4. Support for widely accepted standards is what makes software proprietary
or not. There is plenty of open source software that is highly proprietary.

Any user can easily "backup" any of the content created in knoodl right now
by using the "export" feature that we have supported for three years, this
includes the wiki content and the semantic content (OWL and RDF). Otherwise
you can get any of the semantic content via a SPARQL endpoint if that is
better for the "mirror" application.

Finally, all of the infrastructure of the World Wide Web including DNS
servers, the internet communications backbone (fiber optic cables, copper
cables and routers), and the ISP's that provide individual access are
operated by commercial companies, are not free, and can be terminated at any
time by any of the companies operating the infrastructure. None of the
infrastructure of the internet is provided by federal, state or local
governments for free.

The only important issue is complete support for standards, that is how the
internet came to be and what will continue to drive it forward - countless
commercial companies and open source communities building products that
provide support for open standards.

michael lang

On Tue, May 19, 2009 at 10:34 AM, Mike Lang Jr. <mikelangjr@revelytix.com>wrote:

> Lee,
> Thanks for bringing me in on this thread.  Glad to see that Knoodl "may be
> the greatest thing since sliced bread"!  Sorry in advance for the long
> winded reply, but these issues have been of interest to me for a while and I
> would like to know if my views are way off base.  Also, I wrote this before
> I saw Manu's reply, I'll write another reply specifically about Knoodl.
> I am curious as to what exactly the consensus definitions on the terms
> "commercial", "proprietary", and "open-source" are.  In my
> mind, commercial implies that a company owns the code.  They are free to do
> what they want with that code.  A commercial license does not necessarily
> imply anything about the price for buying or using a piece of software.
>  There are many different kinds of commercial software licenses, the one
> thing they have in common is that they all give ownership of the code to a
> commercial entity.
> There are also a multitude of different open-source licenses available.
>  Having an open-source license does not necessarily imply that no one owns
> the code.  Even in its most restrictive forms though, an open-source license
> does guarantee that anyone can see the code.  Open-source also does not
> necessarily imply that the software is free.  Lots of open-source software
> is sold everyday.  So, as far as I can tell, the only clear distinction
> between all types of open-source licenses and all types of commercial
> licenses, is that anyone can see the code for an open-source product.
> Proprietary, on the other hand, has nothing to do with ownership of or
> access to the code.  It simply means that the software has been implemented
> without using open standards.
> Anyway, I am not an expert in this area.  Please let me know if I have
> misstated anything or if anyone disagrees heavily with anything I've
> claimed.
> Mike
> Revelytix, Inc.
> phone: 410-584-0009 (office)
>           443-928-3782 (cell)
> skype: michael.allen.lang.jr
> aim: MikeJrRevelytix
> On Tue, May 19, 2009 at 6:48 AM, Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>wrote:
>> On 19 May 2009, at 04:01, Lee Feigenbaum wrote:
>>  Manu Sporny wrote:
>>> > http://rdfa.info/wiki/wiki-based-vocabulary-website#State_of_the_Art
>>> >
>>>> Looking for more feedback...
>>> [[ CCing Mike Lang Jr, who might have a thought to add here ]]
>>> The entry on Knoodl states:
>>> """
>>> Proprietary mechanisms should not be used to support core web
>>> infrastructure.
>>> """
>>> I wonder if this is a widely held view / consensus in the RDFa community?
>> I don't think so. I also think that Manu's comment is inappropriate. I
>> agree with the point of view that core web infrastructure should be run on
>> open-source software that is as free as possible from commercial interests.
>> But a wiki-based vocabulary website is not core web infrastructure. I do not
>> see why we should discourage commercial vendors from implementing the
>> various open standards that make up the Web. Users can vote with their feet.
>> If Manu, for whatever reason, does not want to use commercial software, then
>> he's free to do so, but it's his personal opinion only and this should *not*
>> be taken as an opinion that is widely shared throughout the community.
>> Best,
>> Richard
>>> I often talk to people relatively unfamiliar with the Semantic Web
>>> landscape and praise what I consider a fairly healthy mix of commercial,
>>> free-but-proprietary, and open-source solutions. I'm (personally) a bit
>>> dismayed that free-but-proprietary (or even, for that matter, commercial)
>>> solutions would be written off a priori by core advocates of the advancement
>>> of a Semantic Web vision. I worry also that an a priori refusal to consider
>>> commercial or free-but-proprietary for community efforts will encourage
>>> somewhat of a (wider?) schism in the overall direction of Semantic Web
>>> vendors and (for lack of a better term) Semantic Web community projects, and
>>> I don't really think that benefits anyone.
>>> I'd much prefer that commercial or proprietary systems be considered
>>> along with free or open systems on their merits. Of course, cost may be a
>>> con to some commercial approaches (but consider inherent costs involved with
>>> even open approaches to hosting domains, e.g.), as may restrictive terms of
>>> service or reliability of service -- but it's a far different thing to write
>>> off something with the potential of Knoodl for such grand reasons as the one
>>> quoted above.
>>> Lee
Received on Tuesday, 19 May 2009 15:32:24 UTC

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