W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > February 2004

RE : Real World Semantic Web Tools?

From: Neil McNaughton <info@oilit.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 16:10:42 +0100
To: "'Mansur Darlington'" <ensmjd@bath.ac.uk>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>, <semanticweb@yahoogroups.com>
Message-ID: <000001c3f17a$63519160$0300a8c0@dell>

My 2 cents

I must admit to being very much in the same boat as Mansur. I 'discovered'
the semweb through RSS and wrote an editorial (http://www.oilit.com) on this
'quick win' for RDF (I know - it is and it isn't but that's another story).
I think that the case for using RDF to link metadata across different XML
schemas is fairly compelling. This would involve stuff like catalogues and
taxonomies into RDF. Things get a little harder (putting it mindly) when you
try to get your head around the notion of imbricated RDF triples from
different schemas allowing 'agents' to 'discover' things about documents
themselves. Not saying that this is wrong - but seems like the quick wins
will be in having a simple and standardized way of storing metadata value
lists. The rest - semantics and the AI aspects of semweb are a bit harder to
'sell' but it's probably the 'way to go'. But one issue I have with much of
what is presnted by the W3C rdf interest list is the contrast between the
mindboggling complexity of the concepts and the mindnumbing dumbness of the
exapmles used. It would be nicer to have simple concepts applied to
(moderately) tough problems. 

Neil McNaughton
Editor - Oil IT Journal

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-rdf-interest-request@w3.org [mailto:www-rdf-interest-
> request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Mansur Darlington
> Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2004 3:42 PM
> To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
> Cc: semanticweb@yahoogroups.com; kaw@swi.psy.uva.nl; www-rdf-
> interest@w3.org
> Subject: Real World Semantic Web Tools?
> First, an apology for cross-posting this.
> This is a plea for help, from some fairly non-techy information users,
> but we feel it might strike a chord of recognition across interest groups!
> We are trying to explore the practical benefits that developing Semantic
> Web technologies might have to offer for improving access to information
> for engineering designers. As part of this effort we wish to demonstrate
> the advantages of SW technologies over conventional information search
> and retrieval approaches (assuming there really are any!).
> Using a document test-bed and a couple of ontologies developed weve
> demonstrated some of the potential benefits that can be achieved (akin
> to those found in any basic RDF primer or the like). We now wish to
> provide a more realistic practical demonstration of the benefits (and
> the associated costs and difficulties associated with the
> semantification process) using a range of tools that have been
> developed by the SW community.
> These would include:
> 1) Ontology creation and lifecycle management (e.g. Protégé, OilED,
> OntoEdit, etc.)
> 2) An annotator for constructing mark-up documents from the corpus, or
> marked-up proxy documents (e.g. OntoMat, MnM, etc.).
> 3) A means for capturing and representing axioms or rules which
> formalize useful inferences in the domain (e.g. using the above).
> 4) An interface that invites the construction of queries (e.g. plugins
> for the above).
> 5) An accessible query engine which will handle querying and inferencing
> (using the axioms/rules) and present the result in a useful way.
> We have done our best to identify - from the hundreds of applications
> available  those which: (i) work reliably (ii) have compatible inputs
> and outputs (iii) can be *used* and understood by end information
> users (we are not programmers!).
> Despite our efforts we are having remarkably little success. On the one
> hand we are overwhelmed by the amount of information that is available
> on Semantic Web topics, on the other we have found that much of the
> information is completely inscrutable.
> Fundamentally our questions are: Is it that the tools which we require
> are simply too immature (or dont yet exist) or that substantially more
> technical expertise is needed to use what is available than can be
> reasonably expected from information users?
> Comments or help in answering these questions from the Semantic Web
> community would be much appreciated.
> Thank you,
> Mansur Darlington and Al Lowe
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---
> Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre
> Department of Mechanical Engineering
> University of Bath
> UK
Received on Thursday, 12 February 2004 10:09:58 UTC

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