From: David Martin (
Date: 04/02/02

ASSERTION: Some folks, who go to to be convinced they
should start using DAML+OIL, are not finding the right kind of material
to convince them.

I base this statement on recent experience.  SRI has an integrator role
in DARPA's BioSPICE program.  Part of this program's mission is to
promote interoperation of data and software components used in
biological research.  Program participants are currently considering
issues about ontologies and languages for use in exchanging data.  Some
of them are interested in learning about DAML, and have visited the Web
site.  But they are not coming away with a clear picture of why they
should use DAML, as opposed to crafting some data exchange standards
using (just) XML.

My claim is that (believe it or not) the answer to their question ("why
should I use DAML+OIL") is not clearly stated anywhere on the Web site,
or if it is, it's not easily found.  ***What I think is needed is
something like a technical white paper of the sort that technical
companies typically make available on their Web sites, the main purpose
of which is to state the attractive features and advantages of their
technology, in a way that resonates with the audience of potential

I'm not finding much like that on  The closest thing is
perhaps the Scientific American article, which is great, but not at the
right level for these potential "customers".  (It's a good start, but to
"make the sell", something less visionary is needed, which talks about
the pragmatic benefits that might be expected over the short-term or
medium-term, and possibly focuses on the concerns of a particular domain
or a particular type of user.)   Several of the "briefings" are almost
useful here, but most are either too technical or make too many
assumptions about what the audience knows, and of course slides are not
generally made to stand alone.


QUESTION: Can anyone suggest existing material that might need my
current need?  To restate, my current need is to provide materials, to a
group of biology researchers, explaining why DAML makes a good
foundation for their efforts to express and share data.


SUGGESTION: Maybe there should be a new contest (sort of like HotDAML)
to produce this sort of material.

What I'm suggesting is a contest that aims to produce a collection of
materials that aims to win "mindshare" and usage in various potential
user communities.  I imagine a collection of white papers, each targeted
towards a different type of use or community of users.  For instance, I
could imagine writing a white paper explaining how DAML+OIL usage
potentially benefits scientific collaboration efforts (such as the
BioSPICE community mentioned above).  Another one could focus on the
potential benefits for e-commerce, yet another could focus more
specifically on Web services, and yet another on benefits for the
military community.  Perhaps there could be white papers about more
specific domains, such as, say, financial information or real estate or
satellite imaging resources. And so forth.  These would be partly
technical, but again, their primary purpose would be as "marketing
documents"; that is, they would state the attractive features and
potential advantages of DAML+OIL use by the targeted community and/or

Comments welcome!

David Martin

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : 03/26/03 EST