Re: Joint Committee telecon today 24 April

From: pat hayes (
Date: 04/25/01

>All- sorry I wasn't able to join today - had planned to come in by 
>cell, but discovered that my coverage in Utah was too spotty.

Next time, use a supermarket pay phone. Can't beat copper for conduction.

>Next time for sure.

We arent meeting next WEEK, be warned, since most folk will be in Hongkong

> Meanwhile, W3C Semweb-coordination Group has been discussing Web 
>Ontology charter and how to move ahead.  Issue of where to draw line 
>between RDFCore and WebOnt is being discussed - I'd welcome your 
>comments (why not send to me, instead of whole list, and I'll 
>summarize and redistribute)

As all this discussion has been going on behind closed doors, how can 
we possibly comment on it?  W3C is a very opaque organization seen 
from the outside, Jim.  God knows what it is up to. Google can't find 
anything using  "W3C Web Ontology" .

One quick comment; the idea of basing the entire semantic web offort 
on RDF in the latter's current primitive state seems to me to be 
highly risky, to put it mildly, and moreover it seems just plain 
dumb. Why would something as grandiose as the Sem Web idea want to 
committ itself to something as small and parochial as RDF?

Is this an aspect of Tim B-L's methodological stance, a lesson he 
learned from the success of HTML, a kind of 'keep it small' 
philosophy? If so, it misses a crucial difference: HTML was being 
used by people to communicate with each other. SWML (whatever it 
turns out to be) has to be used by machines to understand each other. 
The requirements are deeply and fundamentally different. The ways 
machine/machine communication goes wrong, can be repaired, and can 
succeed, differ profoundly from the ways that human/human 
communication does and can.

It might be salutary and useful if the RDFCore were to spend some 
time listening to what the ontologists want, instead of telling them 
what they can have.


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