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PS. Re: "State of the Semantic Web" - personal opinions?

From: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 21:09:28 +0200
Message-ID: <1f2ed5cd0806301209g604495c4o19e1e6f9d287566b@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-owl-dev <public-owl-dev@w3.org>
A little bird (of the order Strigiformes ;-) has suggested that the
questions I list below, being predominantly RDF-oriented, are likely to lack
relevance over here, and if anything reduce the chances of garnering
interesting/useful opinions. So kindly ignore these, and consider this
mail's subject line in isolation. If you happen to have comparable questions
more on-topic over here, please let me know.

[If I remain ill-informed on the current status of any topics, whatever they
may be, as & when I do a write-up, the gaps are likely to be filled by my
own biases, no doubt borne of ignorance...]

Thanks,
Danny.

2008/6/30 Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>:

> [I already sent this to semantic-web@w3.org (so apologies if you get it
> twice), but it's since occurred to me that to get a broader picture I should
> canvas other groups]
>
> In brief, some time soon I'm planning to do a moderately comprehensive,
> fairly non-technical write-up on this topic (for Nodalities [1] - has quite
> a large & varied readership, including Planet RDF :-)
> I'd like to try to be as objective as possible (personal ideosyncracies
> aside). But I'm really hesitant... I want to do the topic justice, but am
> totally ignorant of a vast amount of what's been happening in the field of
> late (and have a terrible memory!). So I would very much like to draw on
> other people's knowledge and experience, different perspectives, even vague
> intuitions on this. In short, he-elp!
>
> Please reply on-list if it's ok for direct publication (include your
> homepage URI if you want quoting), or mail me personally - if you have
> off-the-record comments  I won't mention source.
>
> The inspiration - last month I had the pleasure of attending a talk by Ivan
> Herman entitled "State of the Semantic Web" [2] (apologies Ivan, the most
> recent version of your slides I could find online are last year's at [3],
> but I think those carry the gist). Great material, but clearly he was there
> primarily in his role as semweb lead at the W3C, though to his credit he
> went far deeper than mere cheerleading.
>
> (I too do semweb stuff as a profession, but I'm fortunate enough that the
> company I work for encourages speculative exploration - if I asserted "the
> semweb sucks!", it'd just lead to further discussion ;-)
>
> Ok, so for this as-yet hypothetical write-up, I'd like to include a few
> success stories, as well as an example or two of things that *haven't*
> worked.
>
> Now a few random areas I'd love to hear thoughts on - some of them involve
> prognostication, but I'll interpolate backwards (!)...sorry, lots more
> bullets than I initially intended - please just pick any that you feel
> strongly about! -
>
> * Obviously Semantic Web technologies potentially have a big role within
> the corporate Intranet. How are things going there?
> (Personally I'm not comfortable with distinctions between "Public Web" and
> er, "HTTP on the LAN" or even "Our Lovely Inference Engine", but for present
> purposes I'll keep my mouth shut :-)
>
> * Money! What's the current status of funding for semweb research in
> academia? Inside big corps? Gov. orgs? Funding from VCs etc?
>
> * What's the range of application of RDF like nowadays? (Obscure examples
> would be nice)
>
> * What is the significance of recent interest in Semantic Technologies
> (those without necessarily having any tie to the Web)?
>
> * How far does RDF+SPARQL (+RDFS) get us? Where might OWL(2) take us? Is
> there any conflict between these directions?
>
> * How have the Linked Data initiatives changed perceptions in the use of
> RDF?
>
> * How's the chicken? How's the egg?
> (aside - we seem to have a decent supply of data now - but where are the
> UIs/hooks into existing UIs/never-before-considered applications?)
>
> * Has the role of the W3C changed in this context over the past few years?
>
> * Can we still speak of "The Semantic Web Community" as a (reasonably)
> unified whole? Should it be?
>
> * Have the attitudes of the developer community at large changed much
> towards the Semantic Web? (Did SWEO help?)
>
> * How has/will blogging influenced the Semantic Web?
>
> * Initially the Web 2.0 'movement' had little or nothing to do with the
> Semantic Web (beyond the lower layers of the stack) - is there any evidence
> of change there?
>
> * Slightly tangential - where do you see social networking going?
> (Possibilities off the top of my head - unification of services; general
> loss of interest through another fad coming along; descent into the Web
> infrastructure)
> - supplemental: assume the fad prognosis - what'll be next?
>
> * Is there yet any compelling, user-friendly application that is solidly
> based on the Semantic Web (and within that definition I'll include linked
> data and suchlike broad Web connectivity)?
>  - bonus: if I want to show Mom how cool the semweb is, without blinding
> her with triples, where do I start?
>
> * Of the old layer cake, we seem to approaching the point where some of the
> upper layers don't seem far off being ready for prime time: Rules, Logic,
> Proof. Too optimistic?
>
> * Again with the cake: we know we need Trust - but whatever happened to
> Signature, Encryption?
>
> * Named graphs are the future?
>
> * (Summary of the last few) - are we done with new specs yet?
>
> * Any impact anticipated from HTML5?
>
> * If there was (is?) a Web 2.0 cake, no doubt it would now include OpenID
> and OAuth - how compatible are these/can these be with the semweb tech we
> know & love?
>
> * Not unrelated, there's a fair bit of similarity between OpenID Attribute
> Exchange and RDF, as well as what appears to be a parallel stack to the
> (Semantic) Web with XRDS/XRI/XDI etc. Is independent invention of this
> nature a good thing or not?
> (My mouth remains firmly shut :-)
>
> * There's always been a Semantic Web roadmap - has its destination changed?
>
> * What obstacles are there?
>
> * Event/comm-related things - IM, XMPP, Twitter even - where's the semweb
> in all that?
>
> * Mobile Semantic Web - how're we doing?
>
> * Ubiquitous Semantic Web - how're we doing?
>
> * Jim Hendler's question: where are the agents?
>
> * What are the best next actions to carry this Grand Project (tm) forward?
>
> * Loose question - while it doesn't make much sense to say when the Web
> was/is finished (2 hosts? 2 billion?), but barring disasters, on what kind
> of timescale do you think we'll see a significant qualitative difference in
> the Web at large due to Semantic Web technologies?
>
> * Anyone noticed any serendipity recently?
>
> * What questions did I miss? :-)
>
> Cheers,
> Danny.
>
> [1] http://blogs.talis.com/nodalities/
> [2] http://www.semantic-conference.com/session/723/
> [3] http://www.w3.org/2007/Talks/0223-Bangalore-IH/
>
> --
> http://dannyayers.com
> ~
> http://blogs.talis.com/nodalities/this_weeks_semantic_web/
>
>
>
> --
> http://dannyayers.com
> ~
> http://blogs.talis.com/nodalities/this_weeks_semantic_web/
>



-- 
http://dannyayers.com
~
http://blogs.talis.com/nodalities/this_weeks_semantic_web/
Received on Monday, 30 June 2008 19:10:15 GMT

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