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Re: Need for W3C 'living' vocabulary & possibility of forking schema.org?

From: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 2015 23:15:57 +0200
Message-ID: <553FF88D.4050502@w3.org>
To: ☮ elf Pavlik ☮ <perpetual-tripper@wwelves.org>, "public-vocabs@w3.org" <public-vocabs@w3.org>
CC: Ralph Swick <swick@w3.org>, Dan Brickley <danbri@google.com>

On 04/28/2015 06:11 PM, ☮ elf Pavlik ☮ wrote:
> Hello,
> Next week Social WG will gather in Paris for 3rd face to face
> meeting[1]. I proposed for the agenda topic of maintaining a 'living'
> vocabulary, already placing myself an image of xkcd:Standards (927)[2]
> next to it.
> I already made multiple attempts to clarify situation of depending on
> schema.org in W3C specs. To my understanding, as for today situation
> looks as follows:

Elf, we understand you have a lot of passion and time, but we'd
appreciate it if you checked with the W3C or the Social Web Working
Group before 'presenting the state of things' to another forum. Thus,
there are a number of clarifications and corrections:

>  - W3C does NOT approve dependency on schema.org

Either schema.org or the WG could formally ask W3C management and the
Director about this. As checked by W3C, we think the IPR is fine.

However, we haven't normatively referenced schema.org as neither the WG
nor schema.org has asked formally. Until we get a W3C director's
decision re normative referencing of schema.org, we see no reason to
normatively reference schema.org given we have URI-based extensibility
so developers can use schema.org-based terms in ActivityStreams 2.0.

Of course, the CG is a great move and we hope to see further W3C and
schema.org working together. That's being dealt with by Ralph and others
at W3C, not me so I don't know details.

>  + W3C does approve dependency on microformats.org

Tantek brought this up with the WG and W3C staff, who told him he'd need
to talk to the Director. Tantek then asked the Director, who agreed that
*stable* microformats that are explicitly marked as such can be
normatively referenced in W3C specs.

> While, I find big appreciation to both efforts and reference both in
> related Social WG/IG issues. Microformats makes impression of hostile to
> RDF[3], but at the same time many people considers it more 'open' than
> schema.org. I must admit not really understanding myself W3C position on
> allowing dependency on microformats.org and NOT allowing dependency on
> schema.org.

See above. If Google or the WG gets a resolution to ask for normative
referencing of schema.org in W3C specs, the question can be asked.

> While W3C hosts in it's namespace multiple 'static' vocabularies. As of
> today it doesn't seem to maintain a 'living' vocabulary. Which continues
> to evolve in a way similar to schema.org or microformats.org

The W3C has internally discussed, but doesn't have the resources right now.

I wrote this down in 2010 did bring this up with the European Commission
to fund the W3C to do this (and discussed with Rich Snippets team
pre-schema.org), but alas, no funding.


> As more and more W3C groups start using Linked Data and need to
> recommend use of shared vocabularies. Existence of something similar to
> schema.org might come beneficial for all those groups. Once again
> assuming here that direct use of schema.org will never become an option
> for W3C specs. At the same time I already notice use of schema.org terms
> in not normative way in various drafts, especially in CGs.

In a personal capacity, I'm against forking schema.org without the
agreement of schema.org and if schema.org wanted to submit a 'snapshot'
or explicitly mark terms as stable, that's their decision. Any reason to
duplicate must be really, really good and I'm not seeing one.

> By writing this email, I hope to present current state of things, at
> least as far as I understand them. And invite community to share ideas
> about need for such shared 'living' vocabulary which W3C will approve
> for normative dependencies.
> 1) What do you think about forking schema.org under W3C namespace,
> making small adjustments but keeping it as much as possible compatible
> with evolving schema.org, and later possibly merging them again?

-1 forking.

> 2) What do you think about creating such 'living' vocabulary from
> scratch and making sure to incorporate experience from schema.org and
> microformats.org communities?

I  don't have the resources at W3C nor have many people asked for this.

> 3) What do you think about creating tools and educational resources,
> which would lower current barriers in using even minimal RDF reasoning
> e.g. RDFa Vocabulary Entailment[4] and hope that people will use it to
> deal with mapping between terms in various existing Semantic Web vocabs?[5]

I've never seen entailment used in real apps but you never know,
although it has produced a large amount of academic papers. However,
educational resources and good open source software is always appreciated.

> 4) Do you see any other way, than creating such 'living' vocabulary
> which provides an alternative to W3C publishing another 'static' and
> duplicating many concepts already existing in schema.org and
> microformats into Activity Streams 2.0 Vocabulary[6]?

A good map between term duplication between AS 2.0 Vocabulary and
schema.org would be appreciated.

> Constructive feedback much appreciated!
> [1] https://www.w3.org/wiki/Socialwg/2015-05-04
> [2] https://xkcd.com/927/
> [3] http://microformats.org/wiki/triples
> [4] http://www.w3.org/TR/rdfa-syntax/#s_vocab_entailment
> [5] http://lov.okfn.org/
> [6] http://www.w3.org/TR/activitystreams-vocabulary/
Received on Tuesday, 28 April 2015 21:16:01 UTC

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