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Re: Semantic Web: A Summary, and a Discussion

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2000 17:11:02 -0000
Message-ID: <004101c049a6$fc62b520$8dd993c3@z5n9x1>
To: "Reinier Post" <reinpost@win.tue.nl>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>, <www-talk@w3.org>
> > 1. The Semantic Web is a machine processble self describing web of
> > extensible dynamic languages. It is logic based, but essentially
provides a
> > huge database of Semantically marked up information, ready for output
(whcih
> > should itself be Semantic).

I wrote another page worths of information about that, and have not had an
excuse to post it. I will now, see appendix [1].

>   + what do you mean by 'self describing'?

1. They have a scheme,
2. They are semantically described with adequate metadata,
3. Evolution is forecast.

>   + who or what is supposed to understand the description exactly?

Machines &/or humans, depending...(don't ask on what).

>   + why is 'the universe of XML documents' not a good implementation
>     of 'the semantic web'?

I never said that, but it's true. XML is rarely descriptive:
<price>5</price>

5 what? Use RDF etc. to describe what...there are better examples than that.

[1] What is the Semantic Web:

This is the most difficult question of all. I would say The Semantic Web is
a machine processble self describing web of extensible dynamic languages. It
is logic based, but essentially provides a huge database of Semantically
marked up information, ready for output (which should itself be Semantic).
This fully machine processable Web environment will be self-describing,
easily searchable, and ultimately dynamic. It was thought of by the inventor
of the WWW, Tim Berners-Lee, who describes the SW as "a web of data that can
be processed directly or indirectly by machines"
Further to that: "The Semantic Web is a Web that includes documents, or
portions of documents, describing explicit relationships between things and
containing semantic information intended for automated processing by our
machines." - http://www.w3.org/1999/04/WebData
I agree that these descriptions don't clear up the mystery all that much,
but the fact is theat the fuzziness and ambiguity of the SW has been a
primary feature ever since its inception in 1998. In fact, if we look futher
back in time to the cration of the WWW, we see that the plans for the SW are
very close to the original plans for the WWW. In fact, you could say that
the SW is the ideal aim of the WWW.
There are a few technologies being developed for the Semantic Web: RDF, RDF
Schemas, XML Schemas, and of course XML. To some extent, XSLT comes into
play as well. The SW will be a Web of metadata, so you had better get used
to describing every possible aspect of your data!

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 Wednesday, 8 November 2000 12:11:45 GMT

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