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RE: XML.com 'Semantic Web: A Primer' article (the SW and you ;-)

From: Bill dehOra <BdehOra@interx.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 09:39:20 -0000
Message-ID: <DD70D605CB99D411B13600508BDE6F2E081E9D@NTLONDON_01>
To: Semantic-Web-a-go-go <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Cc: "'ben.seivl@reuters.com'" <ben.seivl@reuters.com>, "'Dan Brickley'" <danbri@w3.org>
	"Rather than gabble on about what I think Semantic Web might mean
I'm pretty curious to hear what folk on this list understand by the
	phrase. As Edd points out, we could do with some more accessible
materials in this area. "

Ok, you asked for it :-) First off, the term Semantic Web hurt my head for
the longest time, until some people in this meta-web community helped me get
it, though some may soon disagree that I got anything, but hey, read on. 

The big idea behind the Semantic Web is that we can do more significant
stuff than turn some words blue and draw lines underneath them. Wecan for
example, turn some words blue and draw lines underneath them and then say
"what's on the end of this link is written by the same person as this is".
Link significance makes the difference and significance is in the eye of the
beholder. In other words the current Semantic Web isn't very rich in
significances. Richness was traded for Acceptance, a very useful deployment
pattern, but you borrow some trouble nonetheless. 

What I'm trying to do here is trade Magick for Acceptance by pointing out
that the Semantic Web is just a bit more of what legions of developers are
already doing. Really it's not very different. Mainly I wish someone had
outlined it like I've done below about 18 months ago; then I would never
have had to leave Kansas. 


Data setup for a semantic web:

1: 2 pieces of markup, more if you have it.
2: an explicit link between them (this may be markup, doesn't matter).

Computing setup for a semantic web:

3: processes that accept the above data and can output a new piece of
4: processes that can create new links based on the old markup (special form
of 3).
5: processes that can find implicit links between markup, when you've lots
of it (logical inference special form).
6: processes that can link terms, implying equivalence for other processes
(schema to schema binding special form).
7: more special forms as needed.

The semantic web to-do list:

8: more good data structures (for making links/notes between bits of
9: more nifty logical inferencing engines (for automagicking and querying
over implicit links).
11: more "code is data" and more closures in our processes (if we're not
reinventing Lisp, what's the point?).
12: lookup/join protocols and hosts for the data and processes (for web
services, ideally associative not addressed).

Beyond this I have a suggestion: Let's knock up a quick compilation of
nonsenses this week for a "Semantic Web Myths Exploded". If we're lucky,
maybe someone (like Edd Dumbill :-) will pick it up and publish it. 


Bill de hÓra  :  InterX - Innovations  :  bdehora@interx.com


> An interesting piece from Edd Dumbill appeared on XML.com yesterday:
>   http://www.xml.com/pub/2000/11/01/semanticweb/index.html  [[
>   The Semantic Web: A Primer 
>   by Edd Dumbill
>   The question "What is the Semantic Web?" is being asked with increasing 
>   frequency. While mainstream media is content with a high level view, XML
>   developers want to know more, and discover the substance behind the
>   vision.
>   ]]
> This strikes me as a useful article, both in terms of providing a
> discussion strawman on what 'Semantic Web' might mean in practical terms,
> as well as for surveying some key technologies, making the point that
> XHTML, XSLT and mainstream XML apps will be criticial tools for the SW.
> Rather than gabble on about what I think Semantic Web might mean 
> I'm pretty curious to hear what folk on this list understand by the
> phrase. As Edd points out, we could do with some more accessible materials
> in this area. Some for example associate it with the
> logic/inference/AI/KR end of things (ie. the www-rdf-logic theme) others
> take a broader perspective, with the logic machinery being one set of
> tools that we need to bring to bear. While we shouldn't get too hung up on
> a slogan, I think it is important to have some discussion here on
> 'Semantic Web' since for many of us there is a larger goal, towards which
> RDF as-we-now-know-it is just a means to an end. If we're going to get to
> the Semantic Web (for some interpretation of that phrase), I know a lot
> of the work of getting there will be done participants (and lurkers) on
> this mailing list. I'm particularly keen to see 'SW' fleshed out in terms
> of real, buildable apps (http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/ has some nice
> examples) - ideally, the discussion that Edd's article initiates will help
> us characterise buildable SW projects. In our first year, much of the
> discussion here has focussed on RDF in itself, rather than on what we all
> hope to build on top of it. It's about time we balanced that with a little
> discussion of what we all want out of this SW business. My own
> (eg. [1]) answer is pretty simple: I want RDF because it seems a good way
> of getting the Web that was originally proposed. Wondering how the rest
> of you see it,
> Dan
> [1] http://www.w3.org/1999/11/11-WWWProposal/thenandnow
> --
> mailto:danbri@w3.org
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Received on Monday, 6 November 2000 04:41:28 UTC

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