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Re: Is the Semantic Web a MetaWeb?

From: John Yen <yen@cs.tamu.edu>
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001 13:52:24 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <200104161853.f3GIrWi06166@cs.tamu.edu>
To: swi-dev@yahoogroups.com, benny.gustavsson@mailbox.swipnet.se
Cc: semantic-web@w3.org

Semantic Web certainly includes meta web.  However, I believe it
is more than the meta data in an important way:

The "meata data" needs to be associated with an ontology. 
    In another word, the meaning and the interpretation of the meta
    data depends on the context (i.e., the associated ontology) rather than
    being universal.
John Yen

>Resent-Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 17:07:26 -0400 (EDT)
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>From: "Benny Gustavsson" <benny.gustavsson@mailbox.swipnet.se>
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>Is the Semantic Web a MetaWeb? (or I'm I just confused) 
>(If you are not into fuzzy discussions, please ignore this posting, and I 
apologize in advance. Sorry for the cross posting, don't know if this is the 
appropriate mailing list.but let's give it a try ;-)) 
>I have seen a lot of prospect explanations on what the Semantic Web actually 
is, but none of them does answer the question in a way that I'm looking for. Of 
course, it is not an easy question to answer. But, as I'm only into theoretical 
datology, I'm looking for a simple answer to a difficult question that's right 
up my alley. 
>I'm looking for an answer that is similar (in certain ways) to the answer of 
what the Web is. I answer the question of what the Web is with the answer: the 
URI-space. (Not if my dad ask, but in my head) The answer to the SW question I'm 
looking for is not to make it easier for a layperson to grasp the Semantic Web, 
it only to satisfy my own thoughts.
>(Throughout, metadata is considered to be machine usable in the way the SW 
community so often speaks about.) 
>Now to the "meta" part. If we attach metadata to a resource, it becomes in some 
sense easier for a machine to locate and use that resource (e.g. if the resource 
only contains natural language scribbling). Now, IMHO, the Semantic Web is a Web 
of metadata (+logic) that is intended to make it easier for machines (and us 
indirectly - but first and foremost) to locate and use resources on the Web. 
Thus, would it be wrong to call the Semantic Web a metaweb? The SW would then be 
a machine useable web (filled with machine understandable metadata pointing at 
web resources) about the web. Of course, the metaweb is also a web (just like 
metadata could be data), and they exist in the same space - though at different 
levels of abstractions. 
>A bit simplified: humans use the web and machines use the metaweb (SW) to help 
humans use the web better. 
>Thus, the Semantic Web is: a machine understandable metaweb. (the SW is only 
useful if layered on top of the web.) 
>Just as metadata is attached to resources, the metaweb is attached to the web. 
Note, there is a few loopholes that I'm not getting into right now (to not take 
to much of your time), perhaps these will come up if this is further discussed. 
>All this sounds a bit odd perhaps, but it makes it clear the machines will 
never understand resources written in natural languages, only the metadata 
attached to it. 
>Thanks for your time! Happily accepts any comments! 
>Benny Gustavsson
Received on Monday, 16 April 2001 14:53:43 UTC

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