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Semantic Web Roadmap Strawman

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 13:14:59 -0000
Message-ID: <003401c048bc$bebd4360$4fd893c3@z5n9x1>
To: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
> 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.

I thought I'd take time-out to prepare another summary of what has been
going on on this list. I believe it can be boiled down into three phases:-

1. Define the Semantic Web:
     a. What is it?
     b. What do we want to use it for?

2. Define what applications can be built for it:
     a. RDF Based technologies
     b. Semantic UI Technologies
     c. Metainformation based searchable databases
     d. RDF Logic Applications - ontology
     e. Machine to machine communication apps.

3. Develop social and technical communities:
     a. Define real world uses of the SW and its applications
     b. Work towards solving SW problems
     c. Publicize the SW

What we are doing at the moment is 1., attempting to define the SW. The
problem is that many people skipped ahead to 2. and went ahead and developed
RDF applications without considering what they are to be used for in the
future. 3. is the most important phase, and will take a lot of hard work.

http://www.w3.org/1999/04/WebData points out a system for the Semantic Web:
how it can describe and exchange data. This has relavence to 1.a. & 2.d in
the summary list given above.

The SW is really starting to take shape now: but I would still like
acknowledgement as to whether the following points are considered correct
(they are fundamental idioms of the SW):
I. The SW will be an invisible web to the everyday public: the cogs that
drive the information and storage facilities in the form of XML (currently)
will only be seen by machines.
II. The SW is not a new web, or the primary output device for information:
information will be delived to humans via. a semantic interface.
III. The SW will be logic based, but will still require some level of human
supervision.
IV. Although it will operate as acomplex system, using WYSIWYG interfaces
and editors, the public should find the SW easier to use than the WWW is
currently.
V. The SW conforms to the original vision of the Web.

If these are correct, *the* two most important features of the SW are
1) The internal mechanics - i.e. the SW itself
2) Human interface to the SW
And I must point out that 2) has been *severely* neglected. IMHO it is just
as important than 1).

I hope this is of some use and that I'm not just rambling.

BTW: A small note of thanks; the members of this list have been very kind
and considerate always, and always have thoughtful comments, or constructive
criticism. There isn't even a trace of the obnoxiousness that I have often
found on other lists. Kudos to you all! - this IG is a shining example to
all other development communities.

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
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Received on Tuesday, 7 November 2000 08:14:56 GMT

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