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Trip report: WWW2002, Hawaii, May 2002

From: Libby Miller <Libby.Miller@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 18:04:10 +0100 (BST)
To: public-esw@w3.org, w3c-swad-europe <w3c-swad-europe@w3.org>, ilrt-semanticweb <ilrt-semanticweb@bristol.ac.uk>, "d.m.steer" <d.m.steer@lse.ac.uk>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.44.0205191645340.149-100000@mail.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>

hi all,

I attended the WWW2002 conference [1] 6-11 May. I thought I would report
back to the SWAD Europe team and the ILRT semantic web group in the hope
of creating a precedent :)

All the papers are online [2]. You might also like to look at the RDF
Interest group chatlogs and blog pages for the days covering the
conference [3] and I also have some photos [4] as does Dave Beckett [5].
I've also copied it to the new public-esw list, which will be for public
discussion about SWAD-Europe.


The first day I attended was Wednesday 8th. I went to the plenary
session [6]. Tim Berners-Lee did a nice speach explaining the importance
of patent-free infrastructure for the web [7]. Then in the Semantic web
Service track I went to a talk about extending XQuery for implementing
web services [8]. It seemed to be an entire programming language.
I then spent some time working on some slides about SWAD-Europe for a
presentation that charles was giving. I spent lunch chatting to Andy
Seaborne and Wolfgang Nejdl about RDF query.

In the afternoon there was a W3C track on the Semantic web, which
basically meant reports back from the working group chairs of RDFCore
and Webont, plus some information about W3C SWAD activity, and so
SWAD-Europe, by Ralph Swick [9]. There was also a nice demo by Guha's
TAP system [10] which illustrates cross searching of google and
W3C-specific data sources, such as people, working group documents
(example [11]).

After that was a poster session, and after that, a slightly bad-tempered
birds of a feather meeting about Semantic Web tools, bravely chaired by
Brian McBride. Although it was interesting to listen to the Semantic
web interests of the 30ish people who were there, the free drinks
beforehand made for a rather unproductive discussion.


Thursday I went to the Global community track to see Charles
McCathieNevile of W3C present a paper which described among other
things the principles behind the design of SWAD-Europe [12]. Charles did
a great job under difficult circumstances, and there was lots of
interest in the paper.

Thursday afternoon I started in the Semantic Web panel, which wasn't
very inspiring, but got tipped off on irc that Dean Jackson was
presenting a very interesting series of SVG demos. Dean's demos aren't
up yet, but he helped me hack a version of one of them for the codepiction
database [13] which gives you a flavour of the quality of them (although
my version is much uglier). Another demo was Max Froumentein's XSLT/SVG
Chess demo [14] which is amazing :). Dean's session was part of 'cool
web' session, and was very well recieved. I was thinking 'I'm in the
wrong business'.


Friday, the main session for me was Query langauges for the semantic
web. RQL had a paper [15]; there was also an interesting on on a peer to
peer system for Education resources, which had several levels of query
langauges [16]. Finally there was one about mapping part of XSLT to SQL,
which was interesting because it was by very clever database people and
because ideas in it might bve stealable for RDF (because it uses
unordered, graph strcuture to represent the query) [17]

Later I went to see Dave Beckett give his talk [18] on WSE - scalable
RDF searching. It was very well-recieved.


Saturday was Developer Day[19]. There was a session on the Semantic web,
with lots of demos, including a talk from a guy from Adobe, on their
implementation of a subset of RDF, called XMP[20]; a talk by the ISAVIZ
[21] guy about his vizualisation system for RDF data; Mike Dean [22],
excellent as ever, creating tons of data for semantic web using Screen
scraping techniques. I demoed RDFAuthor [23] on behalf of Damian steer
(RDFAuthor is being used for a front end to the MEG project,
collaborating with UKoln and working with Dave Beckett), I also got a
plug for the codepiction [24] stuff I've been doing with him and Dan.
There were 200+ people in a huge room - very scarey, but I guess the
Semantic Web's popular now.

The afternoon I was working on some slides for Luxembourg (trip report
to follow), so missed demos on Haystack and Annotea, the W3C's
annotations system. There is plenty on irc about them though [25].
people were very impressed with haystack, though its not available yet, and
will cost money.

I got back in just in time to see another demo of codepiction stuff, and
also the irc 'chump bot' [27](a blogger that writes URLs from irc to a
webpage and enbles you to annotate them) on screen.

Summary and impressions

The best thing about the conference was the irc channel [27] being used
to recommend good presentations, report back about what was going on in
different sessions, and for rude backchat. because there was a wireless
network throughout, everyone was communicating all the time.

Its clear that the Semantic web is becoming *a big deal*, and I'm
worried its becoming an industry initiative, without really being
finished off, taking the fun out of it all...


[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/events/kickoff-f2f
[2] http://www2002.org/program.html
[3] http://rdfig.xmlhack.com/,
http://rdfig.xmlhack.com/2002/05/08/2002-05-08.html -
[4] http://swordfish.rdfweb.org/photos/2002/05/05/ -
[5] http://photos.dajobe.org/gallery/www2002-hawaii
[6] http://www2002.org/plenary.html
[7] http://www.w3.org/2002/Talks/www2002-tbl/
[8] http://www2002.org/CDROM/refereed/481/
[9] http://www.w3.org/2002/Talks/0508-swad/
[10] http://tap.stanford.edu/
[11] http://tap.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/w3csearch.pl?q=eric+miller&sitesearch=w3.org&domains=w3.org
[12] http://www2002.org/CDROM/alternate/725/
[14] http://people.w3.org/maxf/ChessGML/
[15] http://www2002.org/CDROM/refereed/329/
[16] http://www2002.org/CDROM/refereed/597/
[17] http://www2002.org/CDROM/refereed/226/
[18] http://www2002.org/CDROM/alternate/747/
[19] http://www2002.org/devday.html
[20] http://www.adobe.com/products/xmp/main.html
[21] http://www.w3.org/2001/11/IsaViz/
[22] http://www.daml.org/people/mdean/
[24] http://rdfweb.org/people/damian/RDFAuthor/
[25] http://swordfish.rdfweb.org/discovery/2002/02/paths/
[26] http://rdfig.xmlhack.com/2002/05/12/2002-05-12.html and
[27] http://rdfig.xmlhack.com
Received on Sunday, 19 May 2002 13:10:20 GMT

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