MIT support for Joint Committee

From: Eric Miller (
Date: 09/03/01

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Date: Sun, 02 Sep 2001 16:03:45 -0400
From: Eric Miller <>
Subject: MIT support for Joint Committee
Cc: Tim Berners-Lee <>, Dan Connolly <>,
   dan Brickley <>, ralph swick <>,
   Daniel Weitzner <>,,
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Joint Committee,

We want to clarify and reconfirm that the MIT W3C staff is indeed 
interested in continuing to work with the informal US/EU ad hoc Joint 
Committee in the future. The style of collaboration between research groups 
that made possible the DAML+OIL convergence is precisely the sort of 
pre-standardization community consensus building that helps the W3C 
facilitate the next steps towards industry adoption.

Recent points raised in the Joint Committee teleconferences have apparently 
raised questions on our view of the success achieved in the Joint Committee 
work. Let us dispel any concern that the MIT W3C staff might be backing 
away from supporting this kind of work. We very much encourage early work 
toward consensus building that the Joint Committee and other DAML subgroups 
have undertaken. An important part of the evaluation process that we ask 
the W3C membership to consider when we propose new W3C Recommendation-track 
working groups is the existing state of the art. W3C members evaluate 
whether there exists sufficient design, deployment, and need prior to the 
creation of a working group to ensure a high level of confidence in 
industry adoption. This is the evaluation the W3C just re-presented to its 
members last week for the proposed Web Ontology Working Group. The Joint 
Committee work sets a solid foundation for the W3C Membership to consider 
as they rank the priority of Web Ontology work with all the other W3C work 
items to which they wish to allocate their resources.

It was simple for us to commit MIT resources to participate in the ontology 
discussion within the ad hoc Joint Committee. We had already invested 
substantial effort to produce strawman documents on the ontology layer as 
the DAML program was beginning. It was very natural for Dan Connolly, with 
help from Lynn Stein, Tim Berners-Lee, and others, to participate in the 
Joint Committee until such time as the community felt ready to present 
"completed" work to industry standards organizations such W3C.

As the Joint Committee moves forward and reconstitutes itself around other 
layers of the DAML technology, we at MIT will be looking closely at how the 
future plans of the "new" Joint Committee intersect with our own DAML 
research goals. We expect to identify the individuals and the level of 
participation that are appropriate to the new discussions as the group 
coalesces around a new set of topics. The rules and query agenda now being 
discussed for the new committee is certainly relevant to our own research 
and advanced development. We fully expect to want to join in the 
discussions in some role and bring our perspective on the options the group 
will be considering from the point of view of leading the Web to its full 


Eric Miller,
W3C Semantic Web Activity Lead

Ralph R. Swick,
W3C Technology and Society Technical Director
W3C Semantic Web Advanced Development Lead 

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