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Re: What Happened to the Semantic Web?

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@miscoranda.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2017 20:40:31 +0100
Message-ID: <CAH3-oEcP8sFJONzmpAN2x-tyr+G5eeUpoW-C0rF8w=RnQFERCQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sebastian Samaruga <ssamarug@gmail.com>
Cc: W3C Semantic Web IG <semantic-web@w3.org>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>, public-lod@w3.org
Hi Sebastian,

> Open and decentralized system: could P2P do the trick?

Perhaps, one day. There were some parts of your attached draft that I
did not understand: some words like "runat", and a whole paragraph in
Spanish stymied my comprehension. But in general, yes, I do hope that
out of today's available technologies and those that are soon to be
invented, we will end up with a decentralised alternative to the web.

When WebTorrent came out a while ago, I realised that we're getting to
the point where we could nearly bootstrap any new network on top of
the existing web using WebSockets and all the other modern goodies:

https://webtorrent.io/

Not to mention the fact that we can now emulate entire Linux boxes in
the browser in JavaScript, without even needing WebAssembly. What
times we live in! As I mentioned in my original email, IPFS and the
various blockchain based DNS alternatives are the most promising
alternatives that I know of right now (if they would only combine
them), but Tor is still the system with the best reach.

There are some thorny questions that come up over and over though. One
is how you incentivise people to store your content for you, which
efforts like Filecoin are trying to solve. Another is how you manage
your private keys in a system where revocation may not necessarily
help. Bitcoin itself is the world's biggest experiment on that. There
are also the usual problems like sybil attacks that researchers have
been studying for years. Eventually I think that somebody will
navigate a course through this huge landscape and come up with a great
app that people can relate to, and we'll have people publishing peer
to peer instead of injecting their stuff into closed silos using
proprietary formats. On the other hand, this belief clearly makes me
an optimist.

-- 
Sean B. Palmer, http://inamidst.com/sbp/
Received on Thursday, 12 October 2017 19:40:55 UTC

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