FAQs, best practices, ESW Wiki


"ACTION DanC: Propose Wiki be used for FAQ"
 -- minutes 11Sep

The subject of a FAQ list, best practice guides, and cookbooks
have come up in this WG a few times.
It also came up in the DAML joint-committee

I'm sure everybody agrees that We Should have one of these;
it's a question of how, when, who, and the like.

The FAQ that went out with the OWL CR was written by Jim...

and edited by Janet and a few others in the W3C team.

But that sort of W3C communications team resource isn't
available on an ongoing basis, and I don't think Jim
is volunteering to do it regularly.

The best mechanism I've seen for documenting community
wisdom in a scalable way is WikiWikiWeb. The European
Commission funded some semantic web outreach work,
and we used some of that funding to set up a wiki...

  "ESW can stand for Evolving, European, Experimental,
  Extended, Enthusiastic, ... Semantic Web, reflecting its
  origins in the SWAD-Europe project, and affiliation with
  the wider RDF / Semantic Web Interest Group."
    -- http://esw.w3.org/topic/FrontPage

I'll let it explain itself a bit more...

This is a WikiWikiWeb, a collaborative hypertext environment, with an
emphasis on easy access to and modification of information. It is
something of an experiment in WikiConsensus. In some ways the open
nature of a Wiki is not that different from W3C's open, archived mailing
lists. In other ways it is rather different (see BeesAndAnts), and
perhaps more supportive of coming to consensus. 

You can edit any page by following the link at the bottom of the page.
Capitalized words joined together form a WikiName, which hyperlinks to
another page. The highlighted title searches for all pages that link to
the current page. Pages which do not yet exist are linked with a
question mark: just follow the link and you can create a suitable page. 

This wiki is particularly focussed on the SemanticWeb, but any W3C work
areas are on-topic here. There are lots of other wikis (see InterWiki)
which may be more appropriate for some subjects. 

It is good to speak in the community voice, at least when you have some
idea how the community might think about a subject. It's nice to log in
using UserPreferences, so people can see who made which changes. Browse
this wiki and others to get an example of style and etiquette.

Last week DebM pointed us to a sort of cookbook entry...

  Working with a closed world assumption in OWL/DAML+OIL

So I took that and integrated it into the ESW Wiki by
creating a ClosedWorldAssumptions topic linked
from SemanticWebArchitecture, and then giving ClosingRoles
as an example of how to approximate support for

I'm not quite sure I understood the closingRoles.html document.
And the topic has already grown a disagreeing annotation.
But I trust it will evolve to reflect community wisdom
in due course.

I hope to try out a couple more topics presently...

  a recipie for ont:UnambiguousProperty, rdfs:isDefinedBy
  From: Dan Connolly (connolly@w3.org)
  Date: 05/16/01

I think the potential for synergy between OWL FAQs, RDF
FAQs, URI FAQs, and XML FAQs is considerable. I had a good
time moving a centrally-maintained list into the UriSchemes
topic, and the synergy with topics like FollowYourNose
is already apparent.

Jim writes...

I have thought about this a while, I worry about a WIKI approach 
- we want to control some of this -- I think a WIKI page for users to 
be able to write/comment that is linked to a page maintained 
somewhere in W3C space makes much more sense.  I propose we consider 
starting this page as a WG, putting an "expiration date" on it equal 
to end of our WG (i.e. no commmitment beyond our chartered date) -- 
we would then have an expectation that the new SWIG (if approved) 
would take this over, but we would have no commitment if they don't.

I don't want any more control than the Wiki gives me.

Other folks in the WG could maintain pages in the
http://www.w3.org/* space, as Mike does with
the issues list and Jos and Jeremy do with the
test materials. There's a certain level of tedium
involved, but I suppose it might be tolerable.
I have considered doing that, and the cost of
having all edits funnelled thru one person
(or a few people) doesn't look worthwhile to me.

Lest anyone should doubt that this wiki approach can scale,
yes, there are considerable risks
(cf http://c2.com/cgi-bin/wiki?CommunityLifeCycle)
but it can also work amazingly well
(cf http://www.wikipedia.org/). My position is: if
the world wants a good OWL FAQ, the Wiki is the
best available mechanism to create and maintain it;
if the world doesn't want a good OWL FAQ, no centralized
writing effort is very likely to change that.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/

Received on Wednesday, 17 September 2003 16:29:46 UTC