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Re: .htaccess a major bottleneck to Semantic Web adoption

From: Bill Roberts <bill@swirrl.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 09:47:20 +0100
Cc: public-lod@w3.org
Message-Id: <08181597-BDF8-46E6-A2B5-E154BED59910@swirrl.com>
To: Bernhard Schandl <bernhard.schandl@univie.ac.at>
I agree, with Bernard (and also with an earlier comment of Mark's): if  
we are talking about widespread adoption of RDF, we need to think of  
who is currently creating HTML, and how they are doing it.  I think we  
all know this, but it's easy to forget when we spend all our time on  
the web or with fellow geeks.

- The techy guys creating web sites for big organisations and  
corporations will be fine - they can configure their servers, write  
code, integrate with databases etc, though they will definitely need  
help and education in the short to medium term on choices of ontology,  
good data design practices etc.

- Most small businesses get someone else to develop a website for them  
and there is a large industry of small web design shops supporting  
this.  (Sometimes it's just a friend or a family member that "knows  
about computers").  Setting up hosting and maintaining sites is  
typically part of the service.  So we need to get the message out to  
this army of consultants.  Many will need easy to use tools to enable  
them to add RDF effectively.

- Most "self-written" HTML is in blogs and social media tools, so we  
need very easy to use RDF producing plug-ins for those - which in  
practice probably means limited choices and lots of automatic pre- 
configuration.

So we need to be building tools.  I don't think it matters where the  
data is hosted as long as maintaining the data is easy for whoever has  
that responsibility.

Regards

Bill

On 26 Jun 2009, at 09:48, Bernhard Schandl wrote:

> Mark,
>
>> And everyone knows at least one way to publish HTML, don't they?
>
> I disagree. Most people know how to enter text into a form, but they  
> have no clue what HTML is all about, how it comes that one line of  
> text is bigger while the other is smaller, how backlinks and  
> permalinks are created and resolved, and so on.
>
> The difference between publishing HTML and RDF (in whatever form) is  
> exactly the difference between the Web and the Semantic Web: the  
> former is "just" human-readable material, while the latter is  
> machine-interpretable. Just as one needs to know the grammar and  
> vocabulary of English in order to publish a proper textual  
> description of goods, one needs at least basic understanding of the  
> grammar and vocabularies of the Semantic Web to publish proper RDF  
> data about these goods.
>
> Even if blogs, CMS, and whatever other tools there are support the  
> user in authoring RDFa with a nice GUI, it will be still up to the  
> user to correctly select property URIs and to properly format  
> literal values so that they can be used by a generic (!) RDF client.
>
> Alternative: tools that do some sort of NLP / Entity Recognition /  
> Information Extraction become so mature that they can be reliably  
> deployed into mainstream blogs, CMS, wikis, ...
>
> By the way, the same applies to the client side: in terms of  
> applications we must get beyond the tabular rendering of RDF data.  
> This is nice, but in the end it provides not much more value to an  
> end user than a nicely formatted HTML page. The things that Google  
> and Yahoo do are a good step in this direction.
>
> Best,
> Bernahrd
>
Received on Friday, 26 June 2009 08:48:02 UTC

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