[tdwg-tag] RDF/OWL Good Practices Task Group

Steve Baskauf steve.baskauf at vanderbilt.edu
Fri Sep 23 23:03:13 CEST 2011

I've been in class all afternoon so I haven't had time to look carefully 
at your edits yet.  But I wanted to make one comment about what you said 
in your second paragraph.  It is part of the nature of a task group that 
it have a limited lifespan: the amount of time that it takes to complete 
the task which it has been assigned.  After that, the job of maintaining 
the standard which the task group creates reverts to the interest group 
which chartered it (I am paraphrasing here from my understanding of 
http://www.tdwg.org/about-tdwg/process/).  So if the RDF group is 
actually a Task Group chartered by the TAG, then after its task is 
completed, it will fall to the TAG to maintain the product that it creates.

The concerns that you raise below include some of the reasons why we had 
initially suggested that the group be an Interest Group rather than a 
Task Group.  An interest group does not have a defined lifespan - it 
exists as long as the interest exists.  Unlike a Task Group, it does not 
have to produce a defined product which 
http://www.tdwg.org/about-tdwg/process/ implies (but does not explicitly 
state) would be a standard of one of the flavors described in 
http://www.tdwg.org/standards/status-and-categories/ (Technical 
Specification, Applicability Statement, Best Current Practice, or Data 

The reason why we are currently proposing that the group be a Task Group 
is primarily because several members of the TAG felt that was the most 
appropriate thing.  I think that I agree with them.  However, I am still 
uneasy about several aspects of chartering the group as a Task Group, 
1. I don't really understand exactly who the TAG is (i.e. specifically, 
who are the particular people to whom the RDF TG would be accountable?).
2. What precisely is the task whose completion will signal the end of 
the life of the Task Group?  We have put some benchmarks in the charter, 
but none of them include the creation of a standard of any of the forms 
I listed above.  Is that OK for a Task Group?  I don't know.

I certainly don't want to put a damper on the forward progress of the 
group by asking these questions, because I'm excited about the prospect 
of getting the group off the ground and because the TDWG meeting is only 
weeks away.  But at the moment we are engaging in a discussion within 
the chartering group and I think it would be appropriate for some of the 
TAG members to weigh in on these concerns.  If it turns out that there 
isn't really any answer to the question "who exactly is the TAG?" and 
"what is our task?" then maybe chartering an Interest Group would be 
more appropriate than a Task Group.


Hilmar Lapp wrote:
> Joel -
> I've made a number of edits. These are in part to put the motivation  
> into a larger beyond-TDWG context, and in part to make it a little  
> more future-proof. The charter in places read (to me) more like a  
> workshop agenda than a charter, thus preempting decisions that the TG  
> participants might (want to) make to a degree that I wasn't fully  
> comfortable with. I've tried to make it take a step back.
> I also removed the sentence about handing off to the TAG after one  
> year - while that may be what the participants indeed decide to do  
> after one year, it's not what I'd want ingrained in the charter, and  
> also a one-off mindset isn't necessarily what I'd like to start with.  
> More to the point, if the TG (or whatever its successor(s)) doesn't  
> maintain those documents, I'm afraid nobody will, and there is plenty  
> of empirical evidence around the TDWG site to support that.
> 	-hilmar
> On Sep 19, 2011, at 3:46 PM, joel sachs wrote:
>> Greetings everyone,
>> After some back and forth amongst Steve Baskauf, myself, Greg  
>> Whitbread,
>> and the executive, we've decided to move forward with an RDF/OWL task
>> group, convened under the TAG. Our task will be to deliver a document
>> comprising
>> i. use cases and competency questions;
>> ii. well documented examples of addressing those use cases via rdf and
>> sparql; and
>> iii. discussion of advantages and disadvantages of the approaches
>> illustrated by the examples.
>> Our draft charter is at
>> http://code.google.com/p/tdwg-rdf/wiki/CharterOfTG
>> and we welcome comments, suggestions, and better ideas. One area where
>> we're still open is the question of whether or not our deliverable  
>> should
>> be an official Best Current Practice document [1]. The charter  
>> reflects
>> our current feeling that it should not. After we deliver our "book  
>> of use
>> cases and examples", options would include being re-chartered by the  
>> TAG
>> to produce a best practices document, spinning off as a "Semantic Web
>> Interest Group", or disbanding (either in triumph or despair).
>> When we were planning to convene as an Interest Group, several of you
>> accepted our invitation to serve as core members, and we hope that
>> convening as a Task Group does not change your willingness to do so.  
>> If
>> you would like to be a core member of the group, and we haven't yet
>> contacted you, there's a good chance that we will. But don't wait!  
>> Feel
>> free to volunteer for core membership. (And recall that you don't  
>> have to
>> be a "core member to" contribute.)
>> In regards timeline, I'd like to incorporate any feedback we  
>> receive, and
>> submit the charter to the executive at the end of this week, in  
>> hopes of
>> being chartered by New Orleans.
>> Many thanks!
>> Joel.
>> 1. http://www.tdwg.org/standards/status-and-categories/
>> _______________________________________________
>> tdwg-tag mailing list
>> tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org
>> http://lists.tdwg.org/mailman/listinfo/tdwg-tag

Steven J. Baskauf, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer
Vanderbilt University Dept. of Biological Sciences

postal mail address:
VU Station B 351634
Nashville, TN  37235-1634,  U.S.A.

delivery address:
2125 Stevenson Center
1161 21st Ave., S.
Nashville, TN 37235

office: 2128 Stevenson Center
phone: (615) 343-4582,  fax: (615) 343-6707

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.tdwg.org/pipermail/tdwg-tag/attachments/20110923/fb4d6092/attachment.html 

More information about the tdwg-tag mailing list