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RE: Semantic Web tools, etc..

From: Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler) <RogerCutler@chevrontexaco.com>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 11:14:49 -0700
Message-ID: <7FCB5A9F010AAE419A79A54B44F3718E2EADD4@bocnte2k3.boc.chevrontexaco.net>
To: "'Mark Baker'" <distobj@acm.org>, "Narahari, Sateesh" <Sateesh_Narahari@jdedwards.com>
cc: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>, "'wsawg public'" <www-ws-arch@w3.org>
On the last question, "What major software vendors see the value of SW?" --
I have a certain amount of contact with major software vendors and I've been
asking about this every chance I get.  In one case of a major vendor I had
access to executives who are involved with planning both products and R&D.
So far I have not found anybody who seems to be taking the semantic web very
seriously, even as R&D.  I'm not sure exactly what this means, I only
present it as a data point.

I might also comment that I make similar queries about WAI and XHTML -- and
I find a LOT of awareness of the first but precious little takeup of the
second (XHTML).  So little that I really wonder whether this is going to be
a big flop, and what the consequences might be if it is.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Baker [mailto:distobj@acm.org] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 12:01 PM
To: Narahari, Sateesh
Cc: 'Mark Baker'; Champion, Mike; 'wsawg public'
Subject: Semantic Web tools, etc..

Hi Sateesh,

On Wed, May 22, 2002 at 10:11:32AM -0600, Narahari, Sateesh wrote:
> Do you mean Jena, instead of Jema? What is Zakim?. can you pls give a 
> reference?

Zakim is the tool we use on IRC.


Jema is a tool in early development that was presented at the tech plenary
in February.  It manages attendance, quorum, etc.. via IRC. I can't find an
URL for it.  I believe Brian McBride owns it.

I'm sure that if the Semantic Web activity had more resources, it could
demonstrate to the Web Services activity what the Semantic Web can do for

> How about answering some basic questions?.
>  1. What is semantic web? ( To a non researcher )

RDF is an assertion language, allowing you to say things about resources,
such as "This purchase order requires authorization by Mr. Foo", "This
message is part of this transaction", etc..

The Semantic Web is the result of deploying RDF on the Web.

>  2. What can semantic web do?

It enables software to "browse the Web".  By doing this, many tasks that
currently require a human-and-a-browser, can be replaced with some software
that invokes HTTP methods.

>  3. What value can semantic web add to web services?.

Hopefully by my answer to #2, you might see that the Semantic Web can do
many (most? all?) of the things that Web services profess to be able to do.
And it does them in a Web architecture friendly manner (lots of URIs, HTTP
GET for safe operations, etc..).

> 4. What can RDF do
> that can't be reasonably done by other XML related, well accepted 
> standards.

There are no other existing standards that do what RDF can do.  XML Schema
might be the closest thing, but it only allows you to make assertions about
syntactic structure, e.g. "This element can contain these attributes".  XML
Schema is not very general compared to RDF. RDF can describe XML Schema, but
XML Schema can not describe RDF.

SAML also has an assertion language built in that is specific to security
assertions, which is a shame.  Once again, RDF can describe SAML, but SAML
cannot describe RDF.

Also, RDF is well accepted.  It is a W3C Recommendation, and there exists
*many* independant, interoperable implementations of RDF processors.

>  5. What major software vendors see the value of SW ?.

Sorry, I don't know.  You'll have to ask them.

Mark Baker, CTO, Idokorro Mobile (formerly Planetfred)
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.               distobj@acm.org
http://www.markbaker.ca        http://www.idokorro.com
Received on Wednesday, 22 May 2002 14:22:57 UTC

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