From: David Martin ([email protected])
Date: 04/03/02

Pat Hayes wrote:
> >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.

Actually, I think I can answer that question reasonably well, and I
think most folks reading this list can answer that question reasonably
well.  My claim is just that there's (practically) no place on
where the answer is stated clearly.  I'm hoping to write up a few
paragraphs for the BioSPICE folks, and if and when I get that done, I'll
share it with this list.

I note, as an aside, that (as far as I can tell) none of our (DAML
researchers') papers about DAML or semantic Web are linked from  It may be that simply linking in existing papers would go a
significant ways toward addressing this need.  

> >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
> >customers.***
> >
> >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.

I agree, and that's an important issue.  So I should reword my statement

Actually, I think I can answer that question reasonably well, in
principle, and in also in pragmatic terms, *under certain assumptions
about the widespread adoption of DAML*.  If your main point is that the
widespread adoption of DAML is unlikely in the immediate future, then
there's no argument here.

> >   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.

No, I mean pretty much what I said: documents that state the attractive
features and
potential advantages of DAML+OIL use by the targeted community and/or

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

I think they should should also explain the potential disadvantages.  

- David

> Pat Hayes
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