OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help



   Re: [xml-dev] RDF and the new releases

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]

At 11:09 PM -0600 11/14/02, Shelley Powers wrote:

>The RDF Working Group's efforts have been public and accessible from the
>beginning. They've always been open to comments and suggestions. There's not
>just one but at least three mailing lists associated with the RDF efforts,
>and others associated with peripheral efforts (such as RSS 1.0). I've never
>once not had any member of the working group not respond to one of my
>comments. Yet now, when they put out six documents -- six -- asking for
>feedback, all people can do is beat on their effort in what looks to me to
>be almost a knee jerk reaction.

Once again, we see that the W3C process is simply deaf to fundamental 
criticisms. W3C working groups are pretty good about accepting minor 
corrections and suggestions for improvements within the frameworks 
they've laid out. However, they absolutely cannot hear when a chorus 
of voices is screaming that the framework itself is bad, will not 
support the weight they're trying to lay on it, and should be torn 

The comments that have been raised here are very substantive. 
Ignoring them will either lead to people ignoring RDF or to people 
having massive problems as a result of adopting RDF.

>I thought it might be nice for the RDF critics to be reminded of the
>personal work and effort that has gone into this specification, this RDF
>that generates so much passion. Perhaps you might spare a moment or to
>consider that you might, just might, not be able to do better at a meta-data
>strategy yourselves if given the opportunity.

None of this is a justification for foisting a bad spec on the world. 
First principle: do no harm. No matter how much work has gone into 
the spec, if it's  fundamentally broken, kill it, no matter who's 
toes you step on. That will always waste less work than moving on 
with a harmful spec.

The DOM working group is one of the few to have learned this lesson. 
They did kill abstract schemas. If only the namespaces, RDF, schemas, 
XSLT 2, and query groups could learn the same lesson.

I'm wondering if there needs to be a new step in the W3C process that 
attempts to determine whether a spec has achieved reasonable 
consensus. A spec that has failed to do so would be rejected, at 
least for a while. If in the interrim the  technology achieved 
adoption and proved to be a good idea, eventually consensus would be 
reached. However, looking at the two specs that have been passed over 
significant opposition (Namespaces and Schemas), experience indicates 
that a lot more weight needs to be given to dissenting voices than is 
now the case. I think more than a simple majority should be required 
to move a spec forward, and there should be an opportunity for 
non-working group members other than Tim Berners-Lee to veto a spec.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          XML in a  Nutshell, 2nd Edition (O'Reilly, 2002)          |
|              http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/xian2/              |
|  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0596002920/cafeaulaitA/  |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://www.cafeaulait.org/      |
|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://www.cafeconleche.org/    |


News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2001 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS