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Re: RDFa and Web Directions North 2009

From: Kjetil Kjernsmo <kjetil@kjernsmo.net>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 23:43:19 +0100
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: public-rdfa@w3.org, RDFa mailing list <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
Message-id: <200902132343.24995.kjetil@kjernsmo.net>

On Friday 13 February 2009, Ian Hickson wrote:
> Note that you can already "ask questions" on the Web. For example, I
> just searched for "which country napolean", which is neither the
> right question nor correctly spelt (though that wasn't intentional),
> and Google answered:

Well, you just proved that google sucks, didn't you? It couldn't get the 
answer to that basic question right...

Another example, I'd like to have the latest version of the SPARQL 
Update spec, and I expect to get it if I ask for "sparql update". 

See, the problem with google is that you will only get a good answer if 
you are able to ask the right question. So, yeah, as a good searcher I 
could add "sparql update latest version", but frankly, it won't impress 
me as long as it is.

Natural language has too many ambiguities, too many metaphors, synonyms 
etc, those searches are not more to opening lines, they are really not 
useful in many cases.

I've done a lot of work with librarians, and you'd be surprised to learn 
how many people regularly seek physical public libraries, as they find 
google unhelpful. People are simply not very good at getting the 
questions right and for good reason.

For example, I was looking for a disease, and all I knew about it was 
that it was something that it often occured as a result of 
tuberkulosis. That's the kind of things humans often start out with. 
Try that on google! 

Add a some relations, and you have a decent chance, so that's what we 
did, so what you can do now is just search for what you know, and with 
two clicks, you'll find several things that will give you some 
associations, such as "inflammation of the lining of the lungs", or 
pleuritis, which gets you on the right track. Google requires you to 
offer these associations up front, it doesn't assist with anything 
beyond simple speling mistakes, whereas just a little bit of knowledge 
organisation will assist people in finding what they want. 

Kjetil Kjernsmo
Programmer / Astrophysicist / Ski-orienteer / Orienteer / Mountaineer
Homepage: http://www.kjetil.kjernsmo.net/     OpenPGP KeyID: 6A6A0BBC
Received on Friday, 13 February 2009 22:43:59 UTC

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