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Re: Web services and the Semantic Web

From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 15:43:36 -0400
To: Eric Newcomer <eric.newcomer@iona.com>
Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org
Message-ID: <20020526154336.E8280@www.markbaker.ca>
On Sun, May 26, 2002 at 01:45:00PM -0400, Eric Newcomer wrote:
> Mark,
> I have to point out that failure is relative ;-).

Indeed! 8-)

>  How many implementations
> of the Semantic Web are out there?!?

Just one.  The Semantic Web is the Web, just with more machine
processable information on it.  Some of the information on the Web
today is "semantic", just not semantic enough.  For example, the home
page of this WG says;

"<link href="../../../StyleSheets/public" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />"

which asserts that "../../../StyleSheets/public" is a stylesheet, and
that it could be used for styling that page.

> Just because I work for the leading CORBA company does not mean I am trying
> to reinvent CORBA over the Web.  However if we are looking for successful
> precedent for a Web services reference architecture, the OMG work is not a
> bad source.  You might say CORBA has failed; but again failure is a relative
> term.  Many, many companies are successfully using CORBA in mission critical
> applications.  CORBA did fail to gain the acceptance rate of Windows, but it
> has gained wider adoption than DCE for example.

I was careful to say that it failed on the Internet.  Systems that I
built with CORBA are still running (AFAIK 8-), and I consider those

> My view is that we need to develop a Web services reference architecture
> based on adapting distributed computing concepts to the Web architecture --
> the Web is there, and we are not going to change it.  What's your view in
> this area?

So you know, my company voted against chartering this working group.
Our ballot stated that we felt that Web architecture was sufficient
for what Web services wanted to achieve.  I have yet to see a problem
solved by Web services that cannot be solved by just using the Web.

> I am just saying let's continue down the path of using XML to describe Web
> services since this has been a relative success.  Until or unless we can
> come up with a compelling reason to change direction, that is.  Otherwise
> our purpose should be to improve the rate of success Web services have
> already achieved.

I applaud your desire not to change direction, but I strongly believe
that you have it backwards; the Semantic Web is the means by which the
Web can be used to support machine-to-machine communication.  It does
not require a change in direction.  Web services are a change in
direction from how the Web has traditionally been used (hypertext,
forms, linking, etc..).  Wouldn't you agree?

Mark Baker, CTO, Idokorro Mobile (formerly Planetfred)
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.               distobj@acm.org
http://www.markbaker.ca        http://www.idokorro.com
Received on Sunday, 26 May 2002 15:34:54 UTC

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