Re: Newsletter & Call for Papers WebSci'18

Dear all,

I agree that Sarven's messages often look like repetitive personal 
attacks and not like constructive criticism. However, he does have a 
very good point and I appreciate his reminders on this problem, so we 
don't remain in the same self-inflicted lethargy on these issues (I am 
as guilty of this as most of us).

I would like to encourage everybody to look at Sarven's work and his 
actions behind his words. Or even better, talk to him at the next 
conference. You will find a lot, in terms of abstract visions as well as 
concrete tools. You will also find out that his vision is far broader 
and much more far-reaching than just using HTML for writing papers. He 
is not a spammer or a troll, quite the opposite.

On the other hand, I would also like to encourage you, Sarven, to phrase 
your "reminders" in a more friendly tone so they don't sound like 
personal attacks. Pissing off people who even might be in full support 
of your vision can't be a good way to advocate it.

On 22.02.2018 02:09, Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote:
> What benefits are there for me in this?  Does the new model make it easier for
> me as an author?  As a reviewer?  As a reader?

Yes, yes, yes, and yes! Look at Sarven's tools. They are about to meet 
all these challenges. Look at the editing features in Dokieli, for 
example. The collaborative/versioning aspect doesn't work yet and 
therefore the practical benefit for writing joint papers is limited, but 
you can clearly see where this is going. This is orders of magnitude 
more user friendly than Latex!

There are still good reasons to not fully jump over to HTML papers right 
away (unfortunately), but there are no good reasons not to work towards 
it. And discussing these issues is of course the most important first 
step. The fact that the tools are not quite ready, on the other hand, is 
also what can make Sarven's messages so annoying. Even if you really 
really want to do everything in HTML (when organizing a conference, for 
example), you can't, for practical reasons. But there are many small 
steps we can already take.

I would assume that we can all agree that it is kind of embarrassing 
that in 2018 we are still relying so heavily on a format mimicking 
physical paper, in particular if you are a researcher working in a field 
with "Web" in its name. The Semantic Web is about new ways to share 
knowledge on the Web. Science is about finding and sharing knowledge. 
The Web is nowadays *the* medium to share information. Therefore, this 
is on our turf. If we are not supposed to work on this, who else?

The problem with math formulas might not allow you to abandon Latex 
immediately, but they are no excuse to not work on the problem. They are 
one of the very few points on which Latex is still superior, but 
Latex/PDF is so much worse on basically everything else.

Image the response on this list if we had been using HTML for our papers 
all along and somebody suggested to start using PDF.


On 22.02.2018 02:43, Harry Halpin wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 9:37 PM Axel Polleres < 
> <>> wrote:
>     well,
>     cf.
>     this project doesn't look like abandoned 5 years ago to me...  all I
>     was saying is that I buy into Sarven seriously putting work into
>     that which should be acknowledged.
> I believe acknowledgement can come via making a working product that has 
> real users. If successful, one can even make a company or non-profit 
> around such an initiative.
>   Another half-baked and barely working Semantic Web tool whose author 
> is basically spamming my inbox in a desperate bid for attention strikes 
> me as both a waste of my inbox space and not a productive use of 
> anyone’s time, including his. Flaky research projects, sometimes 
> disguised as W3C standards have in general given the Semantiv Web a bad 
> name in most developer and investor circles, and users honestly haven’t 
> adopted anything. So the future is not looking bright, and spam doesn’t 
> help.
> Or Sarven can write it up and publish it using a conference that accepts 
> HTML, and get acknowledgment via citations.
> Reasonably, in terms of interop with HTML, pandoc has been much useful, 
> and has many many more users. I use it regularly, and it may be useful 
> to add “semantics” to that.
> Although I agree we should get rid of Springer, Elsevier, and the rest 
> of these scammy publishing houses, I would appreciate it if Sarven woukd 
> stop demanding scientific conferences use his tool until it works 
> reasonably well, which for serious consideration would require latex or 
> equivalent for math. For myself, I believe open access is as good as we 
> can demand now until tooling is better. Current tooling issues for HTML 
> publishing for scientific access has little to do with semantics and 
> much more to do with support for math, bibliographies, and the like. All 
> solvable problems, but none requiring daily spamming and trolling.
>>     On 21.02.2018, at 15:26, <
>>     <>> <
>>     <>> wrote:
>>     FWIW, and to anchor the issue in Semantic Web technologies, this
>>     review paper (and call to action!) by Christoph Lange, from 2010____
>>     interesting. Also note comments from the reviewers (in 2010) such
>>     as – “…at the beginning of MKM several authors have proposed or
>>     tried integration with the Semantic Web. In practice, the most
>>     serious efforts were all abandoned about five years ago, for
>>     several reasons.____
>>     __ __
>>     *From:*Harry Halpin []
>>     *Sent:*Thursday, 22 February, 2018 09:50
>>     *To:*Axel Polleres < <>>
>>     *Cc:*Sarven Capadisli < <>>;
>> <>
>>     *Subject:*Re: Newsletter & Call for Papers WebSci'18____
>>     __ __
>>     __ __
>>     On Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 7:25 PM Axel Polleres <
>>     <>> wrote:____
>>         Except you miss that Sarven is one of the few people who does
>>         put some real work into making HTML publishing possible, I
>>         would like to add in his defence (which is also why I do
>>         respect his strategy ;-))____
>>     __ __
>>     I disagree. We did HTML publishing in Web conference series and it
>>     barely worked due to MathML/Latex problem. Dokeli does not address
>>     and Sarven doesn’t even seem to understand problem, as he
>>     conflated the requirements of publishing a blog post with
>>     scientific papers. Latex is still far superior. When he or anyone
>>     comes back with something up to par with Latex for math, then I
>>     will take him seriously. Otherwise it’s basically spam for a
>>     project that doesn’t work yet, even if it’s well-intended spam. ____
>>     __ __
>>     I would suggest rather than spamming this list, Sarven work on
>>     something that really solves the problem (i.e. spend some time
>>     converting real papers and datasets over to a web-friendly form)
>>     to understand the poribkrm -  and THEN advertises it rather than
>>     being a second-rate ideologue____
>>         __ __
>>         __ __
>>         just my two cents,____
>>         Axel____
>>         __ __
>>             On 21.02.2018, at 09:57, Harry Halpin <
>>             <>> wrote:____
>>             __ __
>>             As I have pointed out many times, lack of LaTeX support
>>             for math makes HTML publishing for scientific papers a
>>             non-starter, and people who do not believe this is a
>>             problem must either not publish much or not publish papers
>>             with math. Right now cutting-edge is Tex2Html that hasn’t
>>             really been updated in 10 years. MathML is trying to force
>>             a dead XML paradigm and has little browser support. So I
>>             basically consider it a solvable problem that requires
>>             real work, but until I see real work I consider Sarven’s
>>             posts to basically be pointless spam and borderline
>>             trolling. ____
>>             __ __
>>             Since I have no desire to see spam in my inbox, I will
>>             unsubscribe from this mailing list quite shortly likely. ____
>>             __ __
>>             On Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 11:37 AM Sarven Capadisli
>>             < <>> wrote:____
>>                 Hi Hugh, and everyone.
>>                 This is a great query, which I'd like to address:
>>                 On 2018-02-21 11:25, Hugh Glaser wrote:
>>                 > I am not sure what a public response of this sort to
>>                 the CFP achieves (rather than a private message to the
>>                 CFP poster), other than an attempt to publicly shame,
>>                 which doesn't seem appropriate on the Semantic Web
>>                 mailing list.
>>                 The real target of these messages is not you, me, or
>>                 even the seniors,
>>                 professors, directors, conference organisers,
>>                 programme committees, and
>>                 so on.
>>                 This is for the *next generation* of researchers and
>>                 developers who are
>>                 following along or will hopefully read this up one
>>                 day. They are the
>>                 ones who will be the change. We are only setting the
>>                 stage for them to
>>                 follow through.
>>                 Of course I do hope that these ideas and the problems
>>                 we are dealing
>>                 with resonate with more people. Hence, a plea for the
>>                 "seniors" to
>>                 permit their "junior" colleagues to push forward. To
>>                 grow their team
>>                 with a different set of ideals and awareness! Many
>>                 already have for a
>>                 long time, and many are making that shift.
>>                 Neither do I actually expect these
>>                 conferences/journals that have kept
>>                 their approach for so long to change overnight. As
>>                 long as researchers
>>                 are constrained in how they communicate their
>>                 knowledge, and how that
>>                 knowledge can be disseminated, no amount of activism
>>                 here or elsewhere
>>                 will change that.
>>                 The purpose of these threads is purely about creating
>>                 awareness and
>>                 building a mental infrastructure.
>>                 One by-product of all these conversations is the
>>                 archival and
>>                 documentation of the state of affairs. The mere
>>                 existence of this thread
>>                 shows that we are talking about this stuff, some of us
>>                 are still
>>                 concerned about it, some of us are making our little
>>                 contributions to
>>                 improve things.
>>                 I'm thankful for this community and the feedback that
>>                 I've received. It
>>                 has indeed help me immensely - in more ways than I can
>>                 express here - to
>>                 mature my ideas and join them with the others, as well
>>                 as the support to
>>                 continue to pursue my principles. The evolution of
>>                 these mailing list
>>                 threads serve as documentation and evaluation. It is
>>                 not unique to this
>>                 mailing list; it has been going on over countless
>>                 mailing lists over
>>                 several decades. If the ideas at their core are not
>>                 sound, that would've
>>                 been clear by now.
>>                 And regarding the repetitiveness of my responses to
>>                 CfPs over the years.
>>                 This is true. I like to keep these issues in peoples'
>>                 consciousness. I'm
>>                 troubled by the typical one-way communication that
>>                 these announcements
>>                 are made and their effects on the community. There
>>                 tends to be little
>>                 discussion about community practices regarding
>>                 conferences, and the real
>>                 decisions tend to made by a small circle of people
>>                 that are content to
>>                 maintain the status-quo. I'd like to continually
>>                 remind people to get
>>                 involved with influencing these processes wherever
>>                 they can; to keep it
>>                 on the radar, and remind people that these processes
>>                 can be questioned.
>>                 > Yes, Sarven, you are a valued member of the Semantic
>>                 Web community, and so we are all interested in what
>>                 you are doing, and this is the list you should be
>>                 using to share it (that is genuine - there is no irony
>>                 or sarcasm intended).
>>                 Thank you. Indeed, scholarly communication *is*
>>                 precisely what I'm
>>                 working on. Critiquing assumptions and norms
>>                 conferences in the
>>                 [Semantic] Web domain is me sharing my ideas and their
>>                 evolution with
>>                 the list. They have matured, and they've had some
>>                 impact - however
>>                 small. I am more than happy to take the technical
>>                 aspects up a notch.
>>                 As others have pointed out, we can't separate
>>                 technology from its social
>>                 implications. The Web is inherently social, as are
>>                 academic processes,
>>                 and this mailing list is no exception! Voicing these
>>                 ideas and prompting
>>                 others to do so is as important (if not more so) than
>>                 developing tooling
>>                 and standards.
>>                 Thanks once more to all who have continued this
>>                 discussion with their
>>                 various perspectives. These are all steps forward.
>>                 -Sarven

Received on Thursday, 22 February 2018 08:29:42 UTC