W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > May 2001

RE: deliverables?

From: Danny Ayers <danny@panlanka.net>
Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 13:13:16 +0600
To: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Fortunately Semantic Web development isn't being financed by bean counters,
otherwise I fear the project manager would now be looking for another
position, possibly involving small ruminants.

I'm glad Murray came back on this (without shooting me down in flames), I
agree that fleshing out the terminology and coming up with concrete goals
(however limited & short term) might avoid a lot of wasted effort.

I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the DARPA effort in this respect - I must
admit the US military connection makes me rather uneasy (like having a
chupacabra in the neighbourhood) but I reckon the DAML efforts show that
things can certainly be achieved by having a bit of clarity.

So far the concensus seems to be that the long term benefits of the SW
aren't quantifiable, but are potentially in a 'save the world' league. It
would seem that the answer to 'what is there now?' would be a handful of
bits, but one or two new components (e.g. RDF-XML) that don't do much in
themselves but should be enough to tie everything together into something

Hazarding a shot at current progress :

* construction of ontologies - coming along nicely, they seem to be
springing up like mushrooms

* construction of reasoning agents - seems to be some work going on in terms
of tying in with existing engines (Prolog, CLIPS etc, new bits like cwm,
Jade sounds interesting), some exploratory work, but I think this area is
probably the weakest

* consolidating foundations - seems to be working reasonably well, with this
list, rdf-logic & some very capable logicians, XML-husbandry and so on

* integration into the existing web - slow but progressing, recent RDF in
XHTML discussions probably being typical

* development of tools - getting pretty good for building ontologies, N3
great (must get around to learning it), not very much for building agents,
still quite a way to go before "off-the-shelf software for writing Semantic
Web pages" is available

* development of 'visible' applications (where people can say 'and this is
what you can do on the SW') dribs and drabs,  most notable I guess is the
Calendaring doodads and the accessibility work, though there's other stuff
that's getting interesting - e.g. musicbrainz

<!-- the platform thing is interesting here - there seems to be a lot of
interest in getting mobile devices 'semantically aware', and a lot of
server-side stuff (available through browser), but very little in terms of
'domestic' desktop applications/local agents - does this mean the SW will
always be predominantly thin-client? or is this a temporary state of
affairs, because it's built on the existing web? -->

* PR - the ripples from the Sci Am article should be good, if enough journos
grok it - though there is a danger of 'uh, more vapourware...'

* blue sky research - errm, everything else

It's pretty exciting seeing all the sub-assemblies going together, and
knowing that at some point they'll be plugging into each other (takes me
back to my soldering iron days...mmm). Having clear targets can't hurt
though, so (human) resources don't get wasted. I also believe that if you've
got goats then it's a shame not to milk them. That's my SLR 0.02.

Danny Ayers

<- -----Original Message-----
<- From: www-rdf-interest-request@w3.org
<- [mailto:www-rdf-interest-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of William
<- Loughborough
<- Sent: 02 May 2001 07:08
<- To: Stuart Naylor
<- Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
<- Subject: RE: deliverables?
<- At 03:19 AM 5/2/01 +0100, Stuart Naylor wrote:
<- >I am sorry William but whenever I read one of your emails I get
<- this image
<- >of some mad hippy mormon milking a cyber cow.
<- I wouldn't be sorry to get such an image.
<- I'm actually quite a bit post-hippy (MIT, class of '46) and the only
<- mormonism is somewhat overlapping serial polygamy in the distant past. I
<- have a bunch of cashmere goats but don't milk them, just comb out their
<- down to make "the fiber of kings".
<- SN:: "Once the highbrows have that one figured then it's time for one of
<- williams barn dances.
<- WL: I think "the highbrows" have actually got it to where it's
<- already time
<- for a bit of dancing, barn or otherwise. One of the most vivid images I
<- have is from WWW 7 in Brisbane at a panel session where the
<- other panelists
<- were "berating" TimBL for not getting hypertext perfected before
<- releasing
<- it on an unprepared world. Everybody at the conference would
<- probably still
<- be writing COBOL if he hadn't *done something* besides
<- pedantry/perfection/tweaking.
<- I think the image of an empty UPS truck zipping past the gates of the
<- refugee center within which are starving babies isn't far off
<- the mark. We
<- are all in this together and while those babies might not get endowments
<- and scholarships to Phillips-Exeter, there's surely a way to feed them -
<- probably tonight. We're all pretty smart and comparatively very
<- rich, so I
<- just thought we might figure something out.
<- --
<- Love.
Received on Wednesday, 2 May 2001 03:17:41 GMT

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