29 Apr 2008

See also: IRC log


Noah, Stuart, David, Jonathan, Alan
Jonathan Rees (jar)




Banter before the meeting

Alan: I gave an intro to SemWeb talk. I'll post the slides URL.
... We have a an OWL profile for rules. Check the draft.

<inserted> David, here is the presentation http://sw.neurocommons.org/presentations/HarnessingSemanticWeb.pdf

dbooth: How it relates to RIF? Alan: Don't know.

Alan: please review the OWL drafts!

Check in on our direction

jar: I see a bunch of people with different concerns. Tim is concerned with accessibility. Conneg is about making it accessible, so instead of linking to a particular langauge you link to a generic resource and conneg gives them the appropriate language. So when Tim talks about things "breaking the web", my interp is that that's because he's worried that the user experience will be degraded.

noah: i think he has other concerns too.

jar: there's a set of concerns there that have mainly to do with browsing -- classic web arch concerns. There are SemWeb concerns that are a different place on the landscape w diff requierments. Eg for repeatability of experiement you really do want to refer specifically to the XML version of a doc.

I believe timbl would advodate a uri for both the generic resource and each specific resource

jar: There's different set of concerns where you want to nail things down that appear to be at odds w arch concerns in which you want things to be abstract. There';s some tension there, but plenty of space to deal with both concerns.
... i've heard Alan talk about info entities and feeling frustrated that there's not a lot of attention paid to it.

<Stuart> FWIW, I think that dbooth is correct wrt to TimBL separate URI for generic and its variants...

jar: So the q on the agenda: do we want to characterize what's an allowable 200 response? I want to check it with people. Is this reasonable to do?

noah: Some of my comment may be because i'm not from the SemWeb community. When I see this discussion going on, there's a complexity to it. Theres's a level to which i send you this on the wire, you send me that ... we're not looking at the most subtle parts of http yet (caching, etc). We're looking at the status code 200, media type, body. The level of subtlety that we're getting into w ValueClouds makes me say "we may need this, but it's daunting and of

f putting".

scribe: off putting".

Stuart: have you seen jar's most recent diagram?

<Zakim> dbooth, you wanted to say yes

dbooth: yes, i think we need a new working def of IR, and i've proposed a very simple one: a function from time and requests to representations.

<noah> Hmm. I thought semantics of HTTP was about right.

jar: maybe we should review the aims of this project

<noah> I'm not sure I want to pull on that bit of string and unravel the semantics of the whole world to which that connects

<jar> http semantics is good, but only a means to an end. why would we worry about it?

stuart: i'm not overly motivated to pick a new def. I'm not overly dissatisfied with the one we have at the moement. I acknowledge it has some flaws, but any def we have people will criticize.

<noah> I agree with Stuart. The definition of IR we have seems to work better for me than it does for many others on this call.

jar: It does actually matter when we're giving advice to people what to say about a 200 responses. But if its' one of these borderline cases that keeps coming up then we can't say. But the other issue is provenance and repeatability: you want to make statements that are clear about documents, versions of documents, etc. It's not always clear what to say about them, and when you do start saying things about them you collide with the current AWWW def of IR.

<inserted> jar's latest diagram: http://sw.neurocommons.org/2008/inforesource2.pdf

<inserted> jar's latest diagram: http://sw.neurocommons.org/2008/inforesource2.pdf

Stuart: how does alan feal about the diagram?

Alan: neutral. it doesn't really say anything.
... It doesn't seems like we're saying much about the SW, but there's new stuff happening -- linked data, etc. It resembles working w legacy software -- trying to shove something in an old design.

stuart: what sort of things do y9ou want to conclude from a 200?

alan: difference between a patient medical record and an entrez gen record, because one is updated every time info is added.

stuart: You'd need a vocab for articulating those features.

alan: Yes, and that vocab would have to go beyond saying "FixedResource", etc.

+1 to alan's comment

stuart: would a 200 with a link header help?

alan: yes, it would allow us to start the conversation. we could then ask what the description should have. for docs on the web we could talke about what kinds of docs they should be, dynamic pages, etc. I was going to suggest: let's have an oracle that says: "bless you, you can now start the conversation. You have a description, and a URI of the thing, and you can talk about them."
... Now we can go back and say "how can we get to this stage with more motivation behind it?"
... The link header is a good idea, but i'm anxious to get on to the next level of conversation.

stuart: jar, this started with "what can you conclude from a 200 response?"

<noah> +1 To what Stuart is saying about scope

<noah> The TAG has a separate issue about linking to resource descriptions. I didn't think this AWWSW group was focussing mainly on that.

<noah> When to use 200 does seem to me to be in scope.

jar: i think i gave that as a concrete question. it is one of my concerns. this is hard because there are layers. That's part of a larger question of how we can use http to support the SW better than it does now. Maybe we dont' even need a link header -- just put a link in the html doc. It's a compilcated question because it's in layers.

<Zakim> dbooth, you wanted to say we cannot move forward on clarifying the semantics and guidelines arounnd 200 responses without a workable def of IR

<Stuart> Alan... if you get a 200 response an a pile of triples... is that 'nothing'?

alan: I've concluded you can't get anything interesting from a 200 response.

<Stuart> example please?

<alanr> What's the difference if I get a 303 and a pile of triples?

jar: are 200 journal articles IRs? ftrr:IR defines IR as a function, and that doesn't sound like a journal article.

<alanr> indeed

<Stuart> But with 303 you *don't* get triples... you get another reference to something else... and you get to choose whether to follow that reference... and if in following that reference you get triples... those triples were served wit a 200.

<Zakim> noah, you wanted to say fuzziness may not always be bad

jar: for the purpose of awwsw i'd be fine with going w the def of IR that david proposed, and move forward.

noah: I thought this effort was charger w a narrower scope: http as a protocol is an important bit of the web. to be able to come up w the rdf statements that describe what you can infer is a very useful piece of the web. that's somewhat orthogonal to wether it's useful for a particular use case. I think it's a usefule piece of gatewaying.
... also, it certainly is true thta the def of IR in AWWW is not crisp enough to give a clean answer to all questions. There are gray areas. Is that a fatal problem? That glass is half full. Its' very clear that a human does not meet the def. But if i want to convey to you certain words in certain order, i think that's an IR. a reasonable person would conclude it can be encoded in bits.
... noah: regarding a journal article, when you're deploying on the web, you have a degree of control. if what you mean is the text of the article, then you have made a decision that what you mean is an IR. If you decide that what you meant is something deeper then you have decided that it is not an IR.

<alanr> see http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2008Apr/0159.html starting: "Here's where I think this is going"

jar: the problem is that i come up with non boundary cases that sound to me like they match that definition, but timbl says they're not IRs.

noah: there is some history here. The TAG was beating their heads about this. There was a transition from talking about documents to talking about IRs. My example to tim was the abstract tables comprising a relational DB. To me a document tends to have a beginning a middle and and end, but the relational tables don't have that structure. So a rep will have a particular order, but we will ignore it. Tim and i continue to disagree on this one.

jar: when i drew this diagram i was trying to capture what is being said about 200 responses. it is almost said in 2616.
... there is activity around what 200 means, and some around 303 redirect. Maybe if we do those two things we're all done because we dont' want to take on the def of IR.

<Zakim> dbooth, you wanted to say that ambiguity and gray area is not the primary problem w the current AWWW def of IR - the problem is it is wrong

<inserted> dbooth: ambiguity and gray area is not the primary problem w the current AWWW def of IR - the problem is it is wrong

<noah> My point is that it's a known point of some disagreement between me and Tim as to what the word "document" really conveys, whether a relational table (in which the order of rows and columns is not significant) is best called a document, and whether the range of the term IR is the same as the range of the word document.

<noah> Still, I think that the current AWWW definition of IR is in the ballpark, and I mostly find it useful. It does require a bit of a sympathetic reading, since it doesn't try to be mathematically precise.

<noah> I have a hard stop now. Need to go. Signing off.

<scribe> Scribe: dbooth

s|David, here is the presentation http://sw.neurocommons.org/presentations/HarnessingSemanticWeb.pdf||

Summary of Action Items

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Found Scribe: dbooth
Inferring ScribeNick: dbooth
Default Present: DBooth, Noah_Mendelsohn, Alan_Ruttenberg, alanr, jar, Stuart
Present: Noah Stuart David Jonathan Alan
Got date from IRC log name: 29 Apr 2008
Guessing minutes URL: http://www.w3.org/2008/04/29-awwsw-minutes.html
People with action items: 

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