W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org > March 2006

RE: Ontology editor + why RDF?

From: Kashyap, Vipul <VKASHYAP1@PARTNERS.ORG>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 08:08:29 -0500
Message-ID: <2BF18EC866AF0448816CDB62ADF65381033C325C@PHSXMB11.partners.org>
To: "Danny Ayers" <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Cc: "Jim Hendler" <hendler@cs.umd.edu>, "deWaard, Anita \(ELS\)" <A.dewaard@elsevier.com>, <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>

> I saw a quote not long ago, not sure of the source (recognise this
> Jim?), approximately: "what's new about the Semantic Web isn't the
> semantics but the web".

[VK] This is a great quote and expresses clearly that the value proposition
     in representing and linking vocabularies using URIs stems from the
     Web more than "semantics"
> I take VK's point that this in itself isn't going to convince many IT
> folks. I think the big persuader there is data integration, even on a
> sub-enterprise kind of scale.

[VK] Agreed, one of the clearer value propositions is data integration.

> Being able to use ontologies to infer new information is a massive
> plus (I imagine especially in the lifesciences). Bigger still are the
> (anticipated) benefits of the Semantic Web when the network effect
> kicks in. But the ability to use RDF to simply merge data from
> multiple sources consistently (and query across it), without needing
> complete up-front schema design is a very immediate, tangible gain.
> The work done around SKOS (and specific tasks like expressing WordNet
> in RDF) does suggest RDF/OWL is a particularly good technology choice
> for thesauri.

[VK] Danny, has articulated some potential benefits:
     - Network effects
     - Schema-less linking based data integration

I would argue that both these benefits stem from the web infrastructure and have
nothing to do with the "semantics" of anything per-se.

Also, one could argue that having a standardized markup language whether it
be even HTML or XML enables the above to a significant extent.

So the value proposition question could be:

What is it about RDF that enables network effects and schema less data linking
better than HTML, relational tables or XML in a more significant manner?

Is the improvement enabled v/s the cost required to achieve it an attractive
trade off?

Look forward to yours and the groups responses to these questions.


Received on Friday, 31 March 2006 13:08:33 UTC

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