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Re: Fwd: Questionnaire: Semantic Web Perspectives [RESULTS]

From: Aidan Hogan <aidhog@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 26 May 2019 21:33:21 -0400
To: semantic-web@w3.org
Message-ID: <b6ac016e-3516-ce0c-1a5f-80619e1a6275@gmail.com>
Hi all,

Many thanks to all who responded to the questionnaire!

I closed the system yesterday to start compiling the results. By that 
time, a total of 113 responses were collected.

The idea for the questionnaire came from an editorial article I was 
writing for the 10-year Special Issue of the Semantic Web Journal, a 
public draft of which I've just resubmitted here:

	http://semantic-web-journal.net/content/semantic-web-two-decades

The draft contains some discussion of the points of critique raised in 
the questionnaire, along with the results of the questionnaire and some 
general conclusions/insights. I hope it might be of interest to read!

The raw questionnaire responses (without the private comments, of 
course) can be found here in case anyone wishes, for example, to analyse 
something not covered by the paper:

	https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3229401

Now that the questionnaire is closed, of course, please feel free to 
discuss (on list) if you wish! I've also posted all of the public 
comments of the questionnaire in the following file, which contain some 
interesting nuggets for further discussion:

	https://zenodo.org/record/3229401/files/public-comments.txt

... there are some I would highlight but for reluctance to omit others.


A summary of some quick conclusions ...

* The following is a tag cloud of keywords of success stories mentioned 
by respondents (font size weighted linearly by number of respondents 
mentioning the keyword; some manual curation was applied to extract and 
group related keywords from the text responses):

	http://aidanhogan.com/sw-success-cloud.svg

(Or http://aidanhogan.com/sw-success-cloud.png if SVG doesn't work.)

The most popularly identified success stories were:

	1. schema.org (32)
	2. Knowledge Graphs (24)
	-. Wikidata (24)
	4. DBpedia (19)
	5. Ontologies (17)
	6. Bioinformatics (16)
	7. Linked Data (11)
	8. RDF (10)
	9. JSON-LD (9)
	-. SPARQL (9)


* No participant believed that the original vision of the Semantic Web 
(per the Scientific American article) has been *completely* realised. 
Most however believe it has been realised to a limited extent.


* Of the ten critiques presented, the four that participants most widely 
acknowledged to be a major issue for the Semantic Web (in terms of the 
current state and future developments) were:

1. Lack of usable tools (mostly current)
2. Lack of incentives (current & future)
3. Brittleness regarding unreliable publishers (current & future)
4. Verbose standards (mostly current)

Few respondents, however, identified insurmountable issues, and most 
tended towards optimism for the future of the Semantic Web.


* Of RDF (model), RDFS, OWL and SPARQL, the majority of respondents 
indicated that OWL was problematic, in their opinion, regarding 
verbosity, lack of scalability, and lack of usable tools. SPARQL 
followed OWL on all three points, with over a third of respondents 
worried about the scalability of SPARQL. In terms of the availability of 
usable tools for each standard, almost half the respondents indicated 
problems for each of the four standards.


Again, more details are provided in the paper linked above.


Several comments indicated other issues that could/should have been 
discussed in the questionnaire, while a handful of comments also 
expressed some concerns about the questionnaire design (too many 
questions, issues understanding the "polarity" of the options, etc.).

	https://zenodo.org/record/3229401/files/public-comments.txt

While the questionnaire should not be considered complete (nor without 
flaws), hopefully the results help characterise perspectives within the 
community regarding the past/present/future of the Semantic Web.

Finally, while there's work to be done regarding usability and 
incentives (in particular), I guess it's a good opportunity to 
congratulate and thank those who have worked on schema.org, Knowledge 
Graphs, Wikidata, DBpedia, Biomedical Ontologies, Linked Data, RDF, 
JSON-LD, SPARQL, and all the other success stories mentioned by 
respondents. :)

Best,
Aidan
Received on Monday, 27 May 2019 01:33:47 UTC

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