W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > June 2012

Creating the Semantic Web (was Re: best practice RDF in HTML)

From: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2012 09:59:09 +0000
To: Sebastian Hellmann <hellmann@informatik.uni-leipzig.de>
CC: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, semantic-web <semantic-web@w3.org>, public-lod community <public-lod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EMEW3|a1c7a4b004488b018d01c9f3d2aa0bc5o5CAxD02hg|ecs.soton.ac.uk|7E06DE75-A0CE-4F53-8C32-4145E93C1D8D@ecs.soton.ac.uk>

On 13 Jun 2012, at 10:13, Sebastian Hellmann wrote:

> Ivan,
> thanks for the link. This helps a lot. It is difficult for outsiders to keep track of the progress at W3C, which is why I opened this thread.
> The Turtle language and therefore also the Turtle in HTML <script> will be part of RDF 1.1, right?
Thanks, Sebastian, you got me musing (which means everyone can ignore this!)

I fondly remember when some nice person (I think it was Les Carr) showed me he had this page that he had created, and if I sort of copied what he had done, I too could have one of them on this World Wide Web thingy.
Being a bit tecchy, although not a developer or even up to date with the latest development stuff at the time, I went ahead, and I soon had some nice shiny pages (with some linkbases used to generate the hrefs from cpp, as it happens, which I still use!).

So when some nice person (I think it may have been Nick Gibbins) showed me this semantic web thingy, and how I could create things like a foaf page, I thought that the world had just turned full circle again.
I went away and created a foaf page, and there I was again, a happy bunny.
(Mind you, it probably said that my mbox sha1wotsit was the same as Nick's, and so we were the same person or whatever, but that sort of leads into the next bit of the story…)

Since then, I have gone on and created quite a few pages, with maybe a billion resolvable URIs, and some sites have countably infinite semweb pages.
It wasn't *that* hard intellectually, but I had to invest a fair bit of time and effort in working out how to do it, and staying up with W3C etc (hence my liking of Sebastian's little comment). Actually, what I had to do is get someone else to put the effort in for me :-)

So who is all this for, I guess is the question?
Or rather, who do the creators of all this think are going to use it to create content, and how?
I think some people (including me), fondly sort of cling to the idea that I might grab Les Carr's (source) page where he says something about his cat that is close to what I want to say about my dog, and then hack it and add a bit about my budgie because i can see the pattern, and then stuff it on the semweb.
On the other hand, others think that if you don't know what an ER model is, or can't tell the difference between reference and thing, you shouldn't be out on the roads at all. How did you ever get a licence? You are a danger to the population.

Is it possible to have both?
With things as they are now, it is still the case that I sometimes open up vi and just hack a page in html.
But I'm sure I don't have much idea of how I would actually hack anything around all the complexities of the current raft of html and associated standards.
But do we even want that for the semweb?
Well I do, I think.
I want to be able to open up vi and stuff a triple or two about my dog and budgie in there (sorry, n3 it has to be), and then put it in ~/public_semweb or whatever.
(And if I have the odd syntax error, perhaps the recipient could be a bit forgiving? - Eeek! That's worrying.)
On the other hand, as a sort of developer, I also want a raft of standards that make the whole system actually work, and work well.

So if there is any question in here, I think it is about the level of skill we expect of the people who are building the semweb.
In fact, has anyone tried to describe the skillset, job description, etc of a typical consumer of the standards and creator of semweb data?
I suspect that there will be incredibly wide variation on this, which will actually underlie some of the discussions we see here.
And, just as important, data consumer?
For example, I always think of a consumer of my data as being someone who has no knowledge or interest of the semweb, but is simply a "conventional" web developer.

There you go.
Hugh Glaser,  
             Web and Internet Science
             Electronics and Computer Science,
             University of Southampton,
             Southampton SO17 1BJ
Work: +44 23 8059 3670, Fax: +44 23 8059 3045
Mobile: +44 75 9533 4155 , Home: +44 23 8061 5652
Received on Wednesday, 13 June 2012 09:59:54 UTC

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