W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > November 2015

Re: What Happened to the Semantic Web?

From: Krzysztof Janowicz <janowicz@ucsb.edu>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2015 15:12:35 -0800
To: public-lod@w3.org, semantic-web@w3.org
Message-ID: <5643CB63.1080507@ucsb.edu>
> 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).

I am not sure what you mean. The Web is decentralized and email is 
decentralized as well. Moreover, I think that Ruben's original email 
also pointed to access and ownership when he mentioned the role of 
clients. If the Data Web should/would be similar to the WWW, everybody 
could add data but also reuse and consume these data in various ways. 
Most of the knowledge graphs out there today, however, are one way 
streets in which the public contributes, updates, and cleans the data 
but does not get free and open access to that very data.

> The WWW shows that the 'soft benefits' of privacy, democratic 
> potential, and data ownership are not enough to make distributed 
> solutions succeed.

IMHO, the WWW shows the exact opposite. I also do not see these three as 
'soft benefits'.

> It would have been much more difficult the build the same thing in a 
> distributed fashion.

Agreed, see my previous mail.

Best,
Krzysztof


On 11/11/2015 02:56 PM, Wouter Beek wrote:
> ​Hi Ruben, Kingsley, others,
> ​
> On Wed, Nov 11, 2015 at 9:49 PM, Ruben Verborgh 
> <ruben.verborgh@ugent.be <mailto:ruben.verborgh@ugent.be>> wrote:
>
>     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 <mailto:w.g.j.beek@vu.nl>
> WWW: wouterbeek.com <http://wouterbeek.com>
> Tel: +31647674624


-- 
Krzysztof Janowicz

Geography Department, University of California, Santa Barbara
4830 Ellison Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4060

Email: jano@geog.ucsb.edu
Webpage: http://geog.ucsb.edu/~jano/
Semantic Web Journal: http://www.semantic-web-journal.net
Received on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 23:13:06 UTC

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