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Re: New W3C Web Site Launched

From: <Ora.Lassila@nokia.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 13:04:15 +0200
To: <franconi@inf.unibz.it>, <danbri@danbri.org>
CC: <ij@w3.org>, <site-comments@w3.org>, <chairs@w3.org>, <w3c-ac-forum@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C6FC79EF.3CFBD%ora.lassila@nokia.com>

well said. Good questions. Understandably more features (e.g., RDF export)
would require more effort, but some kind of roadmap describing "things to
come" would be good.

    - Ora (member of the AB)

Dr. Ora Lassila  mailto:ora.lassila@nokia.com  http://www.lassila.org/
Principal Technologist, Nokia Services
Member of the Nokia CEO Technology Council

On 2009-10-15 06:00, "Enrico Franconi" <franconi@inf.unibz.it> wrote:

> Hi,
> having first thanked everybody for the excellent restyling resulting
> in a nice and usable web site, I still believe there is a bad message
> here.
> Are we really saying to the real world that the standards that W3C is
> setting up are not really helpful in the real world? Is the real world
> going to take us seriously after that? If there is a perception of W3C
> being too theoretical/abstract/detached from the real world, then
> either we explicitly agree that it is so (and so we are authorised to
> have a web site not using or complying to our standards) or we at
> least pretend that is possible to do everything following our
> standards, albeit with a bigger effort, which is then repaid by
> interoperability.
> cheers
> --e. - AC rep for UniBZ.
> On 15 Oct 2009, at 10:48, Michael Hausenblas wrote:
>> Dan,
>> Thanks for the background information. Please let me ensure you (and
>> Ian)
>> that I very much appreciate the work the team has invested. Great
>> effort and
>> I'm now even better aware of how hard it was to achieve.
>> Indeed, I have expressed my concern with my DERI AC Rep hat on. Not
>> because
>> I think this makes the statement stronger or more important than a
>> personal
>> opinion, but because I discussed with my colleagues here first and
>> it is my
>> duty to communicate these concerns.
>> Now, summing up - very nice work, especially given the tight (if
>> existent)
>> budget and the legacy as outlined by you. I'm sure with the great team
>> around Ian we will see even more advances and even more W3C
>> standards being
>> used on w3.org and we are happy supporting the team (esp. regarding
>> RDFa ;)
>> Cheers,
>>      Michael
>> -- 
>> Dr. Michael Hausenblas
>> LiDRC - Linked Data Research Centre
>> DERI - Digital Enterprise Research Institute
>> NUIG - National University of Ireland, Galway
>> Ireland, Europe
>> Tel. +353 91 495730
>> http://linkeddata.deri.ie/
>> http://sw-app.org/about.html
>>> From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
>>> Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 10:23:18 +0200
>>> To: Michael Hausenblas <michael.hausenblas@deri.org>
>>> Cc: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, <site-comments@w3.org>,
>>> <chairs@w3.org>, W3C
>>> Members <w3c-ac-members@w3.org>
>>> Subject: Re: New W3C Web Site Launched
>>> Hi Michael,
>>> On Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 9:50 AM, Michael Hausenblas
>>> <michael.hausenblas@deri.org> wrote:
>>>> Ian,
>>>> Indeed, very nice job re design and usability. However, I think we
>>>> should
>>>> also take into account what our 'customers' think [1], [2]:
>>>> "so, are #semanticweb standards too complicated when even the new
>>>> #w3c site
>>>> doesn't use them? #stopsnakeoil"
>>>> "@iand apparently all of them: No (obvious) RDF export, no SPARQL
>>>> API. Just
>>>> some (broken!) hCalendar items."
>>>> This is indeed a poor message we send out - why don't we eat our own
>>>> dogfood? We have a couple of nice standards (RDFa, GRDDL, etc.) in
>>>> this area
>>>> and should well be able to demonstrate that we are able to use
>>>> them, IMHO.
>>>> Sorry for spoiling the party, but given the broad uptake of semantic
>>>> technologies in the governmental area (US, UK), the eCommerce domain
>>>> (GoodRelations), linked data stuff and Google and Yahoo! processing
>>>> structured data, I can't seriously explain to my colleagues or
>>>> other W3C
>>>> customers why we don't have structured data (preferably in RDF)
>>>> available at
>>>> the new W3C site.
>>>> Thoughts, anyone?
>>> I appreciate your passion for SemWeb deployment, but I suspect you
>>> have underestimated the massive amount of work involved in getting us
>>> to this first - major - milestone in the modernisation of www.w3.org.
>>> The team who got us this far deserve only thanks. Perhaps also beer
>>> and cakes.
>>> W3C's site is amongst the older major Web sites in continuous
>>> operation, certainly the only to take link maintainance seriously
>>> over
>>> such periods of time. If you include its custody of the earlier
>>> materials from the original CERN WWW site, it is also a gateway to
>>> the
>>> Web's earliest days.
>>> The W3C site is a living dinosaur, a treasure trove, and a
>>> maintainer's worst nightmare. This isn't your ordinary Web site
>>> update; it's like trying to plan a party on an archaeological site of
>>> world heritage!
>>> Have a rummage in
>>> http://www.w3.org/History/1992/timbl-floppies/TimBerners-Lee_CERN/hype.tar.Z
>>> for example. You'll find early copies of http://www.w3.org/People
>>> (which is also related to the '94-frozen
>>> http://www.w3.org/People.html). Imagine being the poor soul trying to
>>> figure out what to do with HTTP redirects for a site with this amount
>>> of historical baggage.
>>> Also btw in
>>> http://www.w3.org/History/1992/timbl-floppies/TimBerners-Lee_CERN/hype.tar.Z
>>> btw you'll find other treasures hidden away, eg. a paper
>>> 'hypertext/Conferences/HT91/Paper/Paper0.html' entitled "An
>>> Alternative Architecture for Distributed Hypertext" by T. Berners-
>>> Lee,
>>> R. Cailliau, N. Pellow, B. Pollermann. The last line of which is "We
>>> hope that this situation will allow freer interchange of information
>>> in the High Energy Physics community, and allow de facto standards
>>> for
>>> interchange formats to arise naturally."
>>> (...naturally arising standards, eh? :)
>>> The Technical Reports page represents the interdependent and
>>> massively
>>> interlinked work of thousands of person hours spanning decades,
>>> records of fragile consensus and painstaking engineering. As the rest
>>> of this thread demonstrates, it is not a site that can be edited
>>> casually or whose many and varied stakeholders will sit quietly by
>>> while things are changed.
>>> W3C being W3C, every tag and CSS style, every use of javascript or
>>> images or selection from competing (X)HTML flavours, is open to
>>> massive and potentially endless scrutiny. The site has never been
>>> backed by a content management system beyond CVS and there has never
>>> been much centralised control of anything beyond the homepage. I have
>>> only admiration for anyone brave and foolish enough to attempt to
>>> bring this amazing pile of chaos up to date.
>>> Obviously there's a lot still to do. It's a Web site, that's always
>>> the case. But this is a huge improvement, and the start of something
>>> very interesting...
>>> Personally I hope the site will gain a bit more RDFa, of course.
>>> But I
>>> suspect that's more likely if people like you come with some very
>>> specific scenarios that will benefit users of the site. Perhaps
>>> making
>>> some search utility with Yahoo SearchMonkey or Google Snippets, for
>>> example. But there are also other competing priorities for the site,
>>> and a team working with limited resources. I'm glad they shipped
>>> things at this stage so that bugs can be fixed and the basics
>>> stabilised. If RDFa is useful (and it is), it'll find it's way into
>>> the site I'm sure...
>>> And while I'm on my soapbox ---- to those who are routing their
>>> concerns 'officially' via AC reps, I encourage you to just raise the
>>> matters personally here, as individual and lets presume equally
>>> valued
>>> members of the Web standards community. W3C is what we all make of
>>> it.
>>> If we act as if all concerns need to be bubbled up through a rigid
>>> and
>>> official hierarchy of contractually-backed relationships, we'll get a
>>> W3C culture that emphases the corporate over the communal, and whose
>>> structure neglects the individuals who make it special. If we act as
>>> if we're all here because of a shared concern for improving the WWW,
>>> W3C culture (alongside it's Web site) will slowly evolve towards a
>>> more individual-centric approach. I see no evidence that the w3.org
>>> Web team listen preferentially to "official complaints" from AC Reps
>>> compared to those from "mere" members of the W3C standards community,
>>> and every reason to believe that the Web team take every issue on
>>> it's
>>> merits, and are doing their best to balance a very tricky set of
>>> competing requirements. So, again, nice work!
>>> cheers,
>>> Dan
>>>> [1] http://twitter.com/bengee/status/4856670048
>>>> [2] http://twitter.com/bengee/status/4856830531
>>> --
>>> http://danbri.org/
Received on Thursday, 15 October 2009 11:21:46 UTC

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