From: Pat Hayes (
Date: 04/03/02

>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.

Well, good point. Why SHOULD they be using DAML rather than crafting 
some data exchange standards using XML? Can you answer that question? 
I can't.

>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.)

BUt over the short term and forseeable medium term, there is no clear 
advantage. The advantage, if there is one, will only come when a 
large enough number of people use DAML to mark up their websites. I 
don't see this as likely to happen in the immediate future.

>   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.

You mean, propaganda or advertisements, right? Maybe we should hire 
an advertising agency.

>  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

Would they also explain the potential disadvantages? Or would that be 
too, you know, *academic* ?

Pat Hayes
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