Re: RDF *already* supports literal subjects - a thought experiment


 think - the research industry has already spent/invested a lot of money (so
much that i cannot be counted) developing applications before the relevant
concepts /standards  were tested in the real world . We ended up with
suites, toolkits, platforms, services all with limited usefulness/impact
(euphemism intended)

Where did the money cane from to support years and years of research
projects and institutes for something that had never
been tested in practice?

phds? research money?

time to start putting some toward performance measurements?

Now years later, the consortium is facing amongst others, a dilemma - change
the RDF spec or not change it?
(from what I understand of these conversations)

I am sure there are valid arguments for and against., so its a matter of
making the best possible decision to maximise the opportunity/benefits and
minimising the risks/costs. I can see some people are thinking in that

I dont think such decisions should be made solely on opinions and beliefs ,
even less based on the abstract elegance of the belief in question, no
matter how authoritative and respectable the sources

Some measurement can be done with simulations. Whoever has invested money so
far building applications surely would be happy to chip in
making sure the proposed future steps are sound, either way?, There are
zillion of ways such evaluations can be done, but its important to
get people on board who have those skills/abilities or are at least capable
of thinking that way

Find some software engineers or systems engineers to work with?

Once there is enough agreement and understanding some testing could be
helpful to support the right decision/directions, it should not be
difficult to come up with ways of getting that done in practice


On Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 2:47 PM, Frank Manola <> wrote:

> This discussion reminds me of the old saying "in theory, theory and
> practice are the same, but in practice, they're different".  Pat's
> description of a number of potential problems with the data URI idea seemed
> to prompt Paola's comment that ideas should be tested and the results
> measured, Henry's response to that, Lin's response to that, and so on.  All
> the points made are reasonable enough in "theory" (e.g., certainly things
> ought to be tested, in general).  In practice, how do people propose
> conducting a realistic test/measurement of data URIs specifically?  I don't
> mean just writing draft specs of the proposed changes and implementing them,
> and running a few simple apps.  I mean putting the implementation to use
> with extensive realistic apps and seeing what happens, in comparison with
> the current specs and implementations, over a reasonable period of time.
>  This seems to me to be the only way to get the "rigorous
> benchmarking/testing and measuring corresponding performance levels, costs,
> benefits, etc with painstaking detail" that Paola described.  In theory,
> this seems like a fine idea.  In practice, expecting this sounds unrealistic
> in the extreme (e.g., who's organization is prepared to pay for this).  So
> what kind of testing do people have in mind that they think would be
> satisfactory to decisively determine the right approach?
> --Frank
> On Jul 13, 2010, at 8:21 AM, Lin Clark wrote:
> > On Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 9:20 AM, Henry Story <>
> wrote:
> > Paola, not everything is amenable to testing, measurement, etc... For
> example, this
> > would hardly make any sense for most of mathematics, since that is what
> gives you the tools for doing the measurements in the first place. Logic, to
> which it was thought that most of maths could be reduced to, thefore has the
> same issue. Similarly by the way for asethetic values. Or even for ethical
> ones. How would you go around testing whether "killing is bad"? (Rhethorical
> Question).
> >
> > I have to chime in and disagree on this point. Much of the discussion
> hasn't centered around the logical and mathematical perfection of any
> solution, but on what impact solutions have on use and users.
> >
> > A priori reasoning is particularly unsuited to this kind of
> problem—particularly in the case where the research community is
> ethnographically different than the users they are trying to reach, as we
> are. In this particular case, we are trying to reach developers, often times
> Web developers, who most likely have a very different understanding of the
> world than the bulk of the Semantic Web research community. If we look to
> other fields, we can see how user science has been applied in the
> development of systems, languages, and APIs, by treating developers as
> users.
> >
> > If assertions about human use are part of the argument, then empirical
> research about how humans use the tools should be a part of the research and
> evaluation. We need to build a scientific literature that actually addresses
> these issues instead of assuming that human mind is the best of all possible
> (logical) worlds.
> >
> > -Lin

Received on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 15:22:49 UTC