Re: considered helpful


thanks for bringing up some earlier conversations on related topics

When I joined this community there was a lot of work to be done in various
directions, but it looked like efforts were being driven without a clear
sense of what the overall systems should achieved and how.

And whatever suggestion could have contributed to clarify issues, was
dismissed in the first place. (or buried in pointless speculative arguments
about anything that could possibly bring the discussions to tackle the real

I could not believe that such large projects were being planned, funded and
delivered with such obvious flaws built in (more obvious to some than others
perhaps). I am sure i have posted a list of SW systemic flaws somewhere.

Whoever is funding  much of research at least in my side of the world,
really does not have a clue.

The most obvious flaw to me was that things were built obviously in a way so
that they would never work.

Like  a ship is being design to sink the moment it touches the water, the SW
was designed to fail even before it was deployed.

The answers I got sometimes was 'ah, this is research, research is supposed
to be like that '(ie pointless, speculative, that nobody can make sense of,

I disagree, but then again, the  whole world economy and societies built
around systemic dysfunctionality, and the economy of SW research reflects

I thought that whatever caused AI vision never to happen fourty years ago or
so, may be contributing to the SW never to happen in our days.
And this was not a lack of overall vision, nor the lack of brilliant capable
thinking, but the lack of a serious 'engineering' drive  and sensible
transparent decision making.

Research is for some just speculation, in the case of publicly funded
projects, economic as well as academic speculation.

Apparently, much of it is what makes the world (as we know it to date) go
around :-)

I remember suggesting in various posts
a) a more systematic /rational approach to overall SW development
b) a more user centric approach.

Yourself, and Emmanuelle Gutierrez chimed in and a few others, and its a
pity we have not yet met.

I remember finding the work on UML OWL by Stephen Cranefield (whom I met in
person for the first time last year in Graz btw) and listening to Carol
Goble beating a similar drum during a panel session  in Korea, and probably
many more.

When I look at many of the SW efforts in academia to date, it is obvious
that they are very vague attempts to build something that is never going to
work properly

There are serious antipatterns driving academic research in general

I see as one possible way to encourage at least some level of
'self organisation' in the markup. Looks like one of the many approaches to
collective intelligence.I am not sure whether I see it right, or understand
it yet. There are questions that I would like to ask about it, and when I
get the chance, I may try to understand a bit more.

The good news is that we are here, reasonably alive and kicking, talking
about these things, and have a chance to shape a future that last generation
did not have

I hope we meet and get to work together sometime on the next wave of SW
projects and see what can be salvaged from the wrecks


</end rant>

On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 12:13 PM, Lin Clark <> wrote:

> >The fact of the matter is that the Semantic Web academic community has
>> >had their priorities skewed to the wrong direction. Had folks been
>> >spending time doing usability testing and focussing on user-feedback
>> >on common problems (such as the rather obvious "vocabulary hosting"
>> >problem) rather than focussing on things with little to no support
>> >with the world outside academia, then we probably would not be in the
>> >situation we are in today.
>> That's interesting. Was there anybody who pointed this out at the time?
> Yes. Most notably, Ian Hickson pointed it out in direct relation to RDFa
> and Microdata
>    -
>    -
> Paola di Malo has often brought up the need for the SemWeb community to
> look to the methods of the software engineering discipline, with it's
> greater focus on empirical analysis of how developers use tools. I know that
> these discussions have come up on lists<> and
> in discussions at conferences like ISWC because I have been a part of those
> discussions. So I don't think the community can say it hasn't been informed.
> Moreover, I don't think a scientific community should need to be told to be
> empirical and use the scientific method. That should be the default. As I
> said on the semantic-web list last year:
> "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."
> I don't want to start a fight on this list, there are already enough of
> those going on and I have a feeling those are pushing potentially interested
> people away from joining the effort. I just wanted to note that yes, it has
> been pointed out.
> -Lin
> --
> Lin Clark
> DERI, NUI Galway <>

Received on Saturday, 18 June 2011 12:38:45 UTC