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Re: What Happened to the Semantic Web?

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2017 19:57:23 -0400
To: public-lod@w3.org
Message-ID: <7a672e2f-e90f-e152-9dac-8ebc29bb687f@openlinksw.com>
On 10/13/17 6:39 AM, Sean B. Palmer wrote:
> The RDF syntax that N3QL uses is called Notation3:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notation3
> https://www.w3.org/TeamSubmission/n3/
> If it seems uncannily familiar to you, it is because it is the syntax
> from which Turtle was derived, and eventually named graphs.
> We have SPARQL parsers now, but at the time myself and others had to
> make those parsers with our bare hands. The point is that SPARQL won
> over superior alternatives, and that we can *still learn* from those
> alternatives even though they did not become widely deployed
> standards. SPARQL won not due to its technological superiority, but
> because of other factors such as easing the mental transition from
> SQL.

Hi Sean,

SPARQL won because it is a more pragmatic solution, bearing in mind what
was already in place.

What was the problem, in the first place? An ability to fully exploit
Codd's Relational Model [1][2][3], in the most unobtrusive manner,
relative to the status quo.

Codd's Relational Model is abstract in nature. Net effect, lots of
misunderstanding and confusion e.g., false claims and assumptions that
SQL RDBMS is the only implementation of said model.

W3C's RDF Language is abstract in nature. Net effect, lots of
misunderstanding and confusion e.g., that a majority believe its a model
inextricably bound to a specific content-type (that some call a format
others call a concrete syntax).

Back to your original question, as to what happened to the notion of a
Semantic Web? I've answered this question in many guises over the years
[4][5]. The notion of a Semantic Web is well an alive. It is still the
only tool for addressing the following challenges (amplified by those
who have myopically doubted the virtues of a Semantic Web for years), at

[1] Verifiable Identity

[3] Privacy

[2] Fake News

[3] Self enriching knowledge constructed using HTTP URIs .

The example provided by Martynas, with regards to SPIN, was more to do
with exemplifying what can be achieved with a vocabulary i.e., how it
could be used to describe SPARQL as well as apply it to the challenge of
creating a language for custom reasoning and inference rules etc..

BTW -- Phenny bot, and similar tools would be nice mechanisms for
reasserting what folks understood eons ago, in places like #swig, about
what kind of power a Semantic Web of Linked Data brings to the table via
extensible Smart Agents (or Bots) :)


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relational_model -- Abstract
Relational Model

[2] https://medium.com/@kidehen/heres-why-9d278d5aa725 -- Data,
Databases, and the Relational Model (excerpted from a blog post thread
on Medium)

-- Why extending SQL using SPARQL is a shortcut to injecting Semantic
Web of Linked Data power into existing tools

-- What Happened to the Semantic Web ?

-- A Semantic Web & AI .


Kingsley Idehen	      
Founder & CEO 
OpenLink Software   (Home Page: http://www.openlinksw.com)

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Received on Saturday, 14 October 2017 23:57:52 UTC

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