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Re: [Fwd: Re: identifier to use]

From: Adrian Walker <adriandwalker@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2007 09:56:03 -0400
Message-ID: <1e89d6a40708280656h2d113eefp30ebc276792d11e2@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Mark Wilkinson" <markw@illuminae.com>
Cc: public-semweb-lifesci <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
Hi Mark --

If I may generalize a bit, one could say that SW technologies should have
higher level author- and user-interfaces, with the gory details hidden in a
black box underneath. Interfaces closer to the end-user, that is.   Would
that more or less cover the points you make?

One way of going about this is suggested in the example


There's more about the approach in [1,2].

How does that sound?

                                         Cheers,  -- Adrian



Internet Business Logic
A Wiki for Executable Open Vocabulary English
Online at www.reengineeringllc.com    Shared use is free

Adrian Walker

On 8/27/07, Mark Wilkinson <markw@illuminae.com> wrote:
> Well-said Eric :-)
> I think you have hit several key points in your message below that I would
> like to specifically highlight, since they are the "root of my
> belligerence".
> 1) What makes things "catch on"?
> 2) What is the world going to look like in 2-5 years?
> These are things that we simply cannot answer at the moment.  We're
> lacking the "killer app" that will take the Semantic Web by storm!  In
> fact, I suspect that we have not yet even *conceived* of it...  It may be
> (or maybe not?) that the Web browser was slightly more "obvious" for the
> case of HTML... though it's easy to say these things in hindsight.
> Certainly the >300,000% increase in Web traffic [1] that accompanied the
> release of Mosaic is testament to it being "killer", and we have nothing
> even close to that for the SW!  I suspect, though (in fact, I'd be willing
> to bet my career!) that the Browser is *not* going to be the Killer App
> for the Semantic Web.  As such, any arguments for semantic web
> technologies that rely on being able to type a URL into a browser and see
> something useful are simply blah blah to me.  Frankly, if I have to use a
> browser to navigate the semantic web, then I have already lost interest.
> Now, having said that, we can look at the *amazing* work that Eric Jain
> has done to support both the browsing-community as well as the agent
> community.  I have to tip my hat to him!!  Yet when I read messages like
> the one he wrote this morning, I truly pray that the kinds of problems he
> describes ("prevents people from ending up with extension-less files after
> doing a save-as, a big source of confusion, based on my observations",
> "when I show such pages to our biologists, they still think it's some kind
> of error page, with all the gobbledygook about 'commitment',
> 'representation' and 'URI'") simply don't happen in the 2-5 year
> time-frame.  If we're still interacting with the Semantic Web through a
> browser rather than an agent in 2-5 years, if we're still displaying 303,
> 404, or ANY kind of error-page to our end-users, then we should all be
> pretty red-faced... an agent shouldn't have the problem of File/Save_As
> without an extension, since the content should have been explicitly
> defined either in the HTTP headers, or preferably in the entity's RDF
> metadata, and it should be handling errors with finesse and "browsing"
> onwards without human intervention.
> Frankly, I think at least a part of the problem is that "GET" is holding
> us back.  Having to be compliant with the Browser/LWP/wget or your
> favorite HTTP retrieval tool is, I believe, preventing us from imagining
> what the Killer App of the semantic web will look like, and then making
> the brave step away from pure HTTP URIs in order to achieve that goal.  I
> wonder, sometimes, if TBL's statement "the Semantic Web is an extension of
> the existing Web" is perhaps one of the more questionable statements he
> has made in his career... I simply don't see it that way!  The Semantic
> Web is (or at least could be) a very different animal than the Web, and I
> have the feeling that this different animal is going to need a new set of
> protocols and paradigms that are not encumbered by a specification (HTTP),
> and a world full of billions of legacy documents, that were never designed
> to do what the Semantic Web should be capable of doing.  It might just be
> easier/cleaner to "start from scratch" when it come to building something
> that is likely to have behaviours that we have barely begun to imagine...
> I agree 100000% that the LSID spec needs to be altered, tweaked, polished,
> and if nothing else, better documented :-)  However, it does represent a
> very different way of thinking about identification/resolution than HTTP
> (no matter how much we twist the HTTP spec to suit our current
> requirements) and was designed with the Semantic Web in mind; moreover, I
> think that in the next 2-5 years the perceived "requirements" that are
> tying us to the HTTP spec are going to become less significant and easier
> to discard as we develop SW agents that can do cleverer things.  LSID
> isn't utopia... but I worry that HTTP is even less so!  LSIDs also are't
> domain-specific, but rather (as Phil Lord pointed-out) *problem* specific,
> so we shouldn't be afraid of using them based on domain-specific arguments
> (though, frankly, even TBL himself seems to agree that the life sciences
> are the main community using the SW, so the phrase "domain specific" in
> terms of a protocol that *we* designed is a bit of a red-herring... we are
> *the* domain, and I assume that's why the HCLS group has been asked for
> their recommendations...)
> Anyway, just some thoughts...  Thanks, Eric, for stepping in (again) as a
> moderating voice :-)
> M
> [1] http://www.hixie.ch/commentary/web/history
> On Sun, 26 Aug 2007 12:51:22 -0700, Eric Neumann <eneumann@teranode.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > In an attempt to modulate the tone a bit, it's clear that with such a
> > large and complex group of people and communities, many who had not been
> > part of earlier OMG/I3C discussions are not aware of all the details of
> > what had been discussed, proposed, and recommended. Having been a
> > LSR-OMG chair many years ago, I know what it takes to put RFPs through
> > DTC, PTC, and AB mechanisms at OMG. A lot of careful technical
> > forethought and agreeing has to go in to it...
> >
> > At the same time, many groups in biological data and identifier
> > discussions are still getting up to speed what is meant by web
> > uniqueness and resolution within the W3C world. It's always easier to
> > respond to messages than to review the massive amount of technical
> > papers on the subject (I think simple tech/usage summaries are often
> > lacking). But this seems to lead to a lot of earlier email discussions
> > coming up again and again, i.e., info equilibration. As well as the side
> > effect of evoking emotions when not intended...
> >
> > My guess is all sides here can provide an 80-90% technical solution to
> > the main set of data issues raised. That is not the main point of our
> > discussions though. In going forwards we need to also think about
> > learning from past attempts (successes and partial successes), what
> > factors help things "catch on" more quickly and are easy to
> > implement/adopt, and where do data providers and consumers (including
> > the non-informatics people) want to be in 2-5 years? I think we will be
> > capturing most of these shortly, and I look forwards to lots of useable
> > contributions.
> >
> > I am not weighing in on any specific side here, but do hope to see an
> > outcome that is acceptable by most people AND offers the largest
> > potential for success, i.e., improves the quality of science and
> > medicine at a global scale.
> >
> > Remember, before the web took off in the mid-90's, many pointed to the
> > limitations of other hyptext systems to why a global network of
> > documents would never succeed... past does not imply the future!
> >
> > Eric
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: public-semweb-lifesci-request@w3.org on behalf of Mark Wilkinson
> > Sent: Sun 8/26/2007 2:46 PM
> > To: Hilmar Lapp; wangxiao@musc.edu
> > Cc: Miller, Michael D (Rosetta); Eric Jain; Ricardo Pereira;
> > public-semweb-lifesci; Sean Martin
> > Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: identifier to use]
> >
> > On Sun, 26 Aug 2007 08:40:26 -0700, Hilmar Lapp <hlapp@duke.edu> wrote:
> >
> >
> >>> If cannot do it through OMG, maybe LSID should be moved out of
> OMG.  No
> >>> matter what, there is one consensus that is LSID won't be supported as
> >>> is.
> >>
> >> Consensus by whom? There are organizations that support it already,
> such
> >> as TDWG, IPNI, uBio, to name a few.
> >
> >
> > I think "consensus" here means "me and the people who agree with me"
> >
> > Mark
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> --
> --
> Mark Wilkinson
> Assistant Professor, Dept. Medical Genetics
> University of British Columbia
> PI Bioinformatics
> iCAPTURE Centre, St. Paul's Hospital
> Tel:  604 682 2344 x62129
> Fax:  604 806 9274
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Received on Tuesday, 28 August 2007 15:51:44 UTC

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