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Re: What Happened to the Semantic Web?

From: Wouter Beek <w.g.j.beek@vu.nl>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2015 23:56:22 +0100
Message-ID: <CANO-r+KDirwE=P_p5+E0Bj5KCr5J9pRQ-fhYqY1cGGArSGq9Wg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ruben Verborgh <ruben.verborgh@ugent.be>
CC: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>, "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>, "semantic-web@w3.org" <semantic-web@w3.org>
​Hi Ruben, Kingsley, others,
On Wed, Nov 11, 2015 at 9:49 PM, Ruben Verborgh <ruben.verborgh@ugent.be>

> Of course—but the emphasis in the community has mostly been on servers,
​The emphasis has been on servers and, as of late, on Web Services.

> whereas the SemWeb vision started from agents (clients) that would do
> things (using those servers).
​Today we are nowhere near this vision.  In fact, we may be further removed
from it today than we were in 2001.  If you look at the last ISWC there was
particularly little work on (Web) agents.

Now, the Semantic Web is mostly a server thing, which the Google/CSE
> example also shows.
With the LOD Laundromat <http://lodlaundromat.org/> we had the experience
that people really like it when we make publishing and consuming data very
easy for them.  People generally find it easier to publish their data
through a Web Service rather than having to use more capable data
publishing software they have to configure locally.  We ended up with a
highly centralized approach that works for many use cases.  It would have
been much more difficult the build the same thing in a distributed fashion.

I find it difficult to see why centralization will not be the end game for
the SW as it has been for so many other aspects of computing (search,
email, social networking, even simple things like text chat).  The WWW
shows that the 'soft benefits' of privacy, democratic potential, and data
ownership are not enough to make distributed solutions succeed.

However, I believe that there are other benefits to decentralization that
have not been articulated yet and that are to be found within the semantic
realm.  An agent calculus is fundamentally different from a traditional
model theory.

Best regards,
Wouter Beek.

Email: w.g.j.beek@vu.nl
WWW: wouterbeek.com
Tel: +31647674624
Received on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 22:57:56 UTC

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