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Re: More On the Semantic Web (or: is RDF any good?)

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 19:53:40 -0000
Message-ID: <007801c0482b$5db042c0$d0d993c3@z5n9x1>
To: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Cc: "Matt Jensen" <mattj@newsblip.com>, "Craig Pugsley" <craig.pugsley@mimesweeper.com>
Message Contents:
1. Comparing The Early WWW To the SW
2. SW Implementation

[Sorry for over posting a bit here, but these conversations are quite
interesting.]

[1] Comparing The Early WWW To the SW
> To me, one of the most intriguing aspects of TBL's description of a
> Semantic Web is the parallel with the *flaws* of the WWW.
In discussing and developing the SW, we can take note of some things that
"didn't go as planned" on the WWW:
1. SW content ideally should be automatically generated: no hand editing, no
source viewing. This means that we are going to have to write programs and
create tools...

> The angle I'm coming from is that we need to
> ensure that whatever communication medium
> is used (HTML>XML>RDF - for example) is kept
> away from the people who are going to have to work with it.
Precisely my point. Automatic, and dynamic.

> If we, as the people who have enough collective knowledge
> to thrash out these issues, do not lay the correct foundations
> and isolate the users from any complex mechanics, then we
> are going to loose the play.
> They simply will not adopt our new technology.

The SW should be the cogs of the information. It should be the "unseen web"
that processes and stores all of the information that is currently housed on
the WWW (the SW is an extension, or evolution, of the WWW).

2. The WWW in the end got sloppy becuse people only cared what it *looks*
like. We need to care what it is, and then what it looks like
Machine Web=>Human Interface

This is that annoying UI problem that is bugging me at the moment. The
Semantic Web needs a Semantic UI medium. Simple as that. You can't just say
HTML=>RDF=>HTML=>RDF, because it isn't going to work.
What we need is: Semantic Web=>Semantic Output=>Semantic Web...

3. Prepare for runaway success.
Let's hope...

This is all just my [humble] opinion *again*, ignore it if you wish.

[2] SW Implementation (In reply to Matt Jensen)
> [...] I'm imagining that first a group
> of technologists has to "agree" on some kind of standard, and then their
> work has to be adopted by a large enough group of webmasters for the whole
> thing to be "useful".

I think the SW will evolve differently from that. There aren' going to be
any "SW" specifications: this is what you *must* do in order to form an SW.
Rather it's going to be an organic process, that wont happen overnight.
I think the SW is a much greater idea than the first couple of years of the
WWW: but that doesn't mean it will survive. These discussions aren't the
conception of the SW: TimBL put forward ideas in 1998, but they seem to be
like the birth. There is a lot of fuss around the fact that HTML appears to
be past it's sell by date as far as industry etc. is concerned, and XML will
help the situation, but with XML comes the need to describe, the need for
Metainformation: hence the SW. I can't help wondering if the SW is where the
Web is going, where we want it to go, or where it should go; and I hope it
will turn out to be all three.

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
----------------------------------------------------
The Semantic Web: A Resource - http://xhtml.waptechinfo.com/swr/
WAP Tech Info - http://www.waptechinfo.com/
Mysterylights.com - http://www.mysterylights.com/
----------------------------------------------------
"The Internet; is that thing still around?" - Homer J. Simpson
Received on Monday, 6 November 2000 14:54:20 GMT

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