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RE: The Standards Manifesto

From: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 17:42:13 -0700
Message-ID: <4F4182C71C1FDD4BA0937A7EB7B8B4C105534F97@red-msg-08.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: <www-talk@w3.org>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Cc: "Aaron Swartz" <me@aaronsw.com>
To be clear, I share Aaron's frustration with the seeming lack of
progress/focus in some of these activities:

When I first became enamored of the "semantic web", I figured it would
just be a few more months until all of the issues were hammered out and
I could start building things that people could use.  We were *so* close
to having the standards we needed to publish, aggregate, and query basic

But instead we are still arguing about whether a URI actually identifies
anything universally, and meanwhile we are told "Just wait for WebOnt,
that will solve everything."  And we are still no closer to being able
to publish, aggregate, and query basic assertions.

I share the frustration, I just disagree that corporations have anything
to do with it.  I think it's an issue of where people's motivations are.
For most RDF-heads, it's not so appealing to do the boring grunt work of
writing the first few apps to get this bootstrapped.  I'm not talking
about RDF-database, RDF parsers, and so on.  Nothing so elegant or sexy.
I mean boring things such as implement a system similar to third-voice
which is completely based on RDF+NNTP and therefore universally
accessible to everyone.  Or a ratings system for web-pages that is
independent of any server or browser.  Basically, stuff that my Mom or
Dad would use on a daily basis, and easy enough to use that they *will*
use it on a daily basis.

The so-called "network effect" *will* make SW inevitable.  But networks
need to be bootstrapped, and that's just hard, tedious work (and of
course we need someone like Aaron to resolve any standards ambiguities
by fiat :-)
Received on Wednesday, 22 May 2002 20:42:45 UTC

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