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Re: What Happened to the Semantic Web?

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2015 19:37:12 -0500
To: public-lod@w3.org
Message-ID: <5643DF38.2000009@openlinksw.com>
On 11/11/15 3:49 PM, Ruben Verborgh wrote:
> Hi Kingsley,
> Some valid points. Two quick remarks:
>>> For me, the Semantic Web vision has always been about clients.
>> I think the "Semantic Web" has always been about "The Web" (clients and
>> servers) :)
> Of course—but the emphasis in the community has mostly been on servers,
> whereas the SemWeb vision started from agents (clients) that would do things (using those servers).
> Now, the Semantic Web is mostly a server thing, which the Google/CSE example also shows.

Okay, I certainly agree with that observation. Too much emphasis on
servers and large datasets has starved the crucial need for
collaboration on the client side.

Areas of starvation include:

1. Bindings various UI/UX frameworks to data access controls capable of
handling JSON-LD, Turtle, RDFa etc..
2. Constructing sophisticated data access controls that simplify Linked
Data exploitation by client-centric developers.

Collaboration taking shape on the Javascript front re. rdflib.js,
rdfstore.js, SoLID, and RWW in general etc.. are great examples of
movement in the right areas (IMHO).

>>> At the moment, consuming seems only within reach of the big players,
>>> who have the capacity to do it otherwise anyway.
>> No, you can craft a CSE yourself right now and triangulate searches
>> scoped to specific entity types.
> Do you mean making a CSE through the Google interface?

Google offers CSEs as a kind of service. If you leave said service with
Google trimmings there's no cost. If you seek to remove Google trimmings
then they charge a fee. Either way, that's fair enough in my eyes.
> But then I'm actually querying the Google servers, not the Web…

Google is a major Web hub, via CSEs you can find pathways to other
places on the Web. What useful about these CSEs is that they return a
boatload of documents that include RDF based structured data [1].

> Then intelligence is with a centralized system, not between clients and servers.

Google is just one of many hubs from which RDF documents can be
discovered and access.
> Not yet the Semantic Web for me.

I the "Semantic" and "Web" components of the meme breakdown as follows,
in my experience:

1. Semantic -- structured data endowed with machine- and human-readable
relationship type semantics.

2. Web -- hyperlinks functioning dually as mechanism for entity
denotation and connotation  (i.e., names resolve to RDF Language based
descriptor documents).

> Best,
> Ruben


Kingsley Idehen	      
Founder & CEO 
OpenLink Software     
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Received on Thursday, 12 November 2015 00:37:38 UTC

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