[Xesam] [nepomuk] An open-source project for desktop ontology maintenance

Leo Sauermann leo.sauermann at dfki.de
Mon May 11 15:09:55 PDT 2009

Hi folks,

OSCAF is not just the name of the project, there is another good angle 
about it.

OSCAF is a legal body you can join to legally manage the ontologies.

At the end of the project, the ownership of the NEPOMUK ontologies has 
moved to OSCAF,
we founded that Organisation (KDE, DFKI, DERI are members) so that it 
can continue the
ontologies since the NEPOMUK project does not exist anymore as legal entity.

Some of you may not know - the NEPOMUK ontologies were originally 
written by
a consortium of 16 companies, sponsored by the EU, and published under
an open source/cc license.

OSCAF is very handy for now, because otherwise some re-licensing issues 
have to be thought out with those16 companies (where one already stopped 
I guess if it keeps the copyright now, it could much easier to relicense 
the ontologies later if the current CC-BY is a problem
(which, usually, it is, after some years, when the legal things move on 
to new licenses,
as just happens to wikipedia)

Maybe I am overreacting here, usually nobody asks "who has the copyright 
on this ontology",
but only look at the licenses (which can only be changed by the owner)
perhaps only big organisations such as Eclipse.org care about such things.

Also, OSCAF has some money backing, my employer DFKI and the other
org members have sponsored some funds for OSCAF, which we could use to 
host the
website or sponsor something else. I can't say much about this, because 
I am not
in charge alone here, but it is an aspect.

If this is needed now, we can add some (all?) of you (maybe even 
freedesktop.org, if it is a legal entity)
as OSCAF "individual members" and create a low-fuzz "just do it" policy 
for managing the ontologies.
You would also get a voting right on important decisions, etc, but it is 
not mandatory
to do all this.
I would guess given the circumstances that this will be doable quickly.
It has the advantage of having a legal body behind for the publishing of 
the ontologies,
similar to apache or eclipse or w3c or oasis.
Also, the ontologies are used beyond KDE, by Nokia in MAEMO and in my 
own products
of gnowsis.com, so personally, I would think a legal neutral 
standardization body could help
to keep all these partners happy.

If this is not the case, if OSCAF as legal body is not wanted here, then 
please say so,
I think then the ontologies can be edited by anyone under the current 
licensing terms
(but never relicensed).

my 2c,

It was Arun Raghavan who said at the right time 04.05.2009 21:30 the 
following words:
> 2009/5/4 Sebastian Trüg <trueg at kde.org>:
>> Hi guys,
>> maybe you read my blog about Xesam and Nepomuk[1]. In essence I think we
>> should create a new project which will handle the maintenance of the desktop
>> ontologies. So far for me this means the Nepomuk ontologies NAO, NIE, and
>> PIMO.
>> IMHO it makes perfect sense to have a dedicated project for several reasons:
>>  * no copies floating around in different project packages
>>  * one standard that we agree on (I know this is hard)
>>  * one platform for discussion/bugs and general maintenance
>>  * One central ontologies package very much like the mimetype package
> This sounds perfect.
>> I mentioned in my blog that we already created the OSCAF sourceforge
>> project[2]. Now I don't really care how we name the project. Maybe OSCAF is
>> not the best name, maybe something very simple like "desktop-ontologies" would
> I would say that we should reuse one of Xesam or Nepomuk for this. Why
> add one more buzz-word to an already crowded namespace? :) Besides, it
> makes it easier to associate the ontology with the project, then.
>> be better. In any case I think using sourceforce (I prefer it since I already
>> have 3 projects there and was always happy with it) or something similar is a
>> good idea. We then don't need to spend time on setting up task tracking
>> systems or mailing lists. We just use what is there.
> _If_ we agree to keep this effort under the head of Nepomuk or Xesam,
> I guess we can just reuse the existing infrastructure?
> Thanks for taking the initiative on this -- I think it'd be great if
> we could all quickly converge on how we want to proceed from here, and
> get the ball rolling.
> Cheers,

DI Leo Sauermann       http://www.dfki.de/~sauermann 

Deutsches Forschungszentrum fuer 
Kuenstliche Intelligenz DFKI GmbH
Trippstadter Strasse 122
P.O. Box 2080           Fon:   +49 631 20575-116
D-67663 Kaiserslautern  Fax:   +49 631 20575-102
Germany                 Mail:  leo.sauermann at dfki.de

Prof.Dr.Dr.h.c.mult. Wolfgang Wahlster (Vorsitzender)
Dr. Walter Olthoff
Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrats:
Prof. Dr. h.c. Hans A. Aukes
Amtsgericht Kaiserslautern, HRB 2313

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