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Re: Show me the money - (was Subjects as Literals)

From: Frank van Harmelen <Frank.van.Harmelen@cs.vu.nl>
Date: Fri, 02 Jul 2010 22:31:49 +0200
Message-ID: <4C2E4CB5.8070000@cs.vu.nl>
To: semantic-web@w3.org
As someone who wasn't at the workshop, but who has been following it
closely, I'm amazed by the lack of social intelligence in the debate.

Not all the worlds' problems can be solved by writing more specifications,
and getting Linked Open Data widely adopted is an example.

Yes, there are some useful additions & changes to be made to RDF that have
real use-cases screaming for them (and people already implementing because 
they need them).
The top 7 at [1] is a good list of these,
and for all the other items on that list (including "literals as subjects", 
c'mon!), social intelligence should prevail over technical arguments, no 
matter how correct they are.

I'm in full agreement with Richard Cyganiak, Dan Brickley, Ian Davis, 
Benjamin Nowack and others, summed up by the following quotes from 
different messages in this thread:

Benjamin Nowack <bnowack@semsol.com>
>> Our problem is not lack of features (native literal subjects? c'mon!). 
>> It is identifying the individual user stories in our broad community and
>> marketing respective solution bundles. The RDFa and LOD folks have
>> demonstrated that this is possible.

Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
> Quite right.
> But telling those user stories and marketing the solution bundles is  
> not something that can realistically be done via the medium of *specs*.

Benjamin Nowack <bnowack@semsol.com>
 > We suffer from spec obesity, badly.
> RDF "Next Steps" should be all about scoped learning material and 
> deployment. There were several workshop submissions (e.g. by Jeremy, 
> Lee, and Richard) that mentioned this issue, but the workshop outcome 
> seems to be purely technical. Too bad.

Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
> Spend the money on a W3C-license javascript SPARQL engine,
> or on fixing and documenting and test suiting what's out there
> already. And whatever's left on rewriting it in Ruby, Scale, Lua ...

Ian Davis <lists@iandavis.com>
> In my opinion the time for this kind of low level
> change was back in 2000/2001 not after ten years of investment and
> deployment. Right now the focus is rightly on adoption and fiddling
> with the fundamentals will scare off the early majority for another 5
> years. 

As much as I admire Pat <phayes@ihmc.us> I couldn't disagree more with his:

> But after reading the results of the straw poll [1], part of me
> wants to completely forget about RDF,  never think about an ontology or a
> logic ever again.

Pat, you may be technically correct, but I think you are socially 
completely wrong on this one. You/we have to choose between an imperfect 
spec that's on its way to being widely used, or one that shines in splendid 


[1] http://www.w3.org/2010/06/rdf-work-items/table

Frank.van.Harmelen@cs.vu.nl		http://www.cs.vu.nl/~frankh
Working on the Large Knowledge Collider	http://www.LarKC.eu
Received on Friday, 2 July 2010 20:31:52 UTC

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