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RE: Real World Semantic Web Tools?

From: Leo Sauermann <leo@gnowsis.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 17:29:42 +0100
To: "'Mansur Darlington'" <ensmjd@bath.ac.uk>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002a01c3f185$6b7c52c0$0501a8c0@ZION>

I do not share the opinion that semantic web is unusable. I think the
goals are set way too high. Before you want to manage global
information, check out the mess in your email inbox.

I have built a PersonalInformationManagement prototype and integration

gnowsis - a Semantic Desktop

It is usable, I use it myself to associate pictures to people,
powerpoint slides to appointments
and other stuff.

I integrated a wiki/weblog into it, a fine idea for information

and I generated my foaf with it automatically (extracted data from MS
foaf is here:
you see funny urls in it, they are from gnowsis.

Gnowsis does most of the points you mentioned, read the paper (see

It will be released under something like a BSD license later in this
I have problems with patents etc. right now.

In  the meantime, 
have a look at my paper about it,
it has screenshots.


there are many a powerpoint - f.e.:

read the note about scripts here:

 do what is possible-gnowsis


> -----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 11:28:47 UTC

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