Re: A bit of bomb throwing....

From: Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2006 18:30:12 -0500

Zack Rosen wrote:
>>> The Drupal community is open to collaboration but they are skeptical
>>> of the value and use afforded by RDF / semantic web technologies.
>>> The burden of proving this is still upon the research communities
>>> shoulders. I don't think this is an impossible chasm for this
>>> community to cross.
>>> Realistically, If you can't convince the tinkering community who can
>>> you convince?
>> See my previous post on the need for "convincing" at all. It's a
>> flawed approach. IMNSHO.
> You won't need to convince the Drupal community to implement semantic
> web technologies on the Drupal platform and get users of the platform
> deploying real world implementations. All you need to do is check RDF
> wrangling modules into Drupal CVS that are useful for real world
> applications.


a few points:

  1) we don't think our code is perfect nor our ideas are great, but we
have problems on the table and we are solving them and our stats
indicate that other people like the way we do it. If you don't, it's
*TOTALLY FINE*, we are probably solving project you don't have or in a
way you don't like. Nobody on our side is trying to convince you that
the semantic web is useful for you. *you* are trying to convince us that
is not good for you. Great, you did it. I'm convinced. Now, please, stop
and let's stop wasting each other's bandwidth.

  2) I'm the author of Apache Cocoon, which has much greater functional
overlap with Drupal than anything we are doing here. But you don't see
me advocating semantic web technologies in Cocoon/Lenya/Forrest/Daisy,
nor in Drupal, nor in Zope/Plone, nor in WordPress nor in any other open
source content management solution/platform/system.

Why? a few reasons:

  1) because I don't think the time is ready for that: microformats and
RSS extensions will make it obvious on why you need the RDF open world
mentality and not the XML closed world one, but *that* is very very very
hard to explain, so I'm just going to sit here and wait until that wall
gets hit. And in the meanwhile, try to understand how to solve the
problems that come *after* that.

NOTE: I was a *strong* antagonist to RDF and semantic web technologies
for years (after all, I would have designed and written Cocoon if it
wasn't for that), before I hit that wall and realized that XML was not
going to solve the semantic interoperability problem. (and boy, that was
a painful moment)

  2) I'm dead sick of threads like these and that's why I don't try to
convince people of anything anymore with words, emails or powerpoint
presentations. I make prototypes and demos and make stuff work and that
speaks for me. And if they like it great, if they don't, I don't get
defensive and I go on with what works for me.

So, going back to my first comment to you: if you think you can do
better, join us and help us improve, you'll find a very open and diverse
community to work with.

If you don't understand/appreciate/like what we are doing, it's fine
too, just stop wasting your (and ours) time.

                                  - o -

Everybody else,

I (and the rest of the team) really appreciated the warm comments and
how you aligned to show support to our work and to the vision we are
implementing. But we need less words and more software, and you (or we!)
won't write software when you (or we!) are writing (or reading) email.

So, please, let this thread fade away.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.

P.S.: here is a design pattern that works very well for me: write the
email that you would want to write and then instead of hitting "send",
hit "delete". Then start again. You'll find that your emotional energy
is much lowered and dissipated, therefore it's easier for you to ignore
and move on.

Stefano Mazzocchi
Research Scientist                 Digital Libraries Research Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology            location: E25-131C
77 Massachusetts Ave                   telephone: +1 (617) 253-1096
Cambridge, MA  02139-4307              email: stefanom at mit . edu
Received on Wed Jan 18 2006 - 23:29:48 EST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Thu Aug 09 2012 - 16:39:18 EDT