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Re: How will the semantic web emerge: SPARQL end point and $$

From: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 18:36:09 +0100
Message-Id: <B6A79035-7131-482A-A548-868FEEC53976@bblfish.net>
Cc: <tim.glover@bt.com>, <fugu13@mac.com>, <fmanola@acm.org>, <semantic-web@w3.org>
To: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@microsoft.com>

People should be able to consume data however they wish. If they wish  
to fail fast, so be it. They are just stating a preference for non  
contradictory data. Others may accept contradictory data happily  
(like search engines).

I think the onus is on the producer of data to produce good quality  
relations. Of course there is no need for that either. You can place  
junk on your web site, and many people do. But those sites that put  
up quality information, that is valuable, consistent, well presented,  
easy to understand, reliable will gain TRUST. And business is 99%  
about trust.

That is why as I said before [1], put up a SPARQL end point on a  
publicly exposable view of your database, in the hope that this data  
will lead to others creating services that will increase your sales.  
So for example if you are BT, create an ontology to put up phone  
numbers and such up using SPARQL. Better (as there are less privacy  
issues in this industry), if you are British Rail, of SNCF put up all  
your timetable information up at a SPARQL end point. Since you  have  
a huge amount of data, there is no need - to start off with - to  
think too much about interacting with other services. So you can  
create your own ontology if you think that will get you to your goal  
faster. Make sure you specify that your SPARQL end point is in beta.  
That will give you time to test out usage and get feedback from users  
and in the end change your ontology if needed. In those situations  
none of the issues that have been discussed here has much relevance.  
People will come to your database because they can make money out of  
it, and in the process you will make more money too. So the goal of  
everybody is clear. This will create a huge demand for Semantic Web  
tools and engineers, and we will have a growing number of cheaper  
such engineers to start applying this technology to all the other  
places where it makes sense.

Being the first can create a very big advantage though, so it is  
worth looking at this. If I were Barnes and Noble of la FNAC I would  
try this out, before Amazon gets there.

Once more groups get their SPARQL end points out, I forsee that major  
players will wish to standardise on some ontologies to:
    1) outsource the business to more specialised organisations
    2) work better with tools
    3) create economies of scale

So if Air France does this, and the SCNF does this and a big hotel  
chain, then one can see how some large travel agency will emerge and  
over time more standardised ontologies will emerge. Especially as  
small players (mom and pops hotels) will want to publish information  
in Atom feeds about the availability of their rooms for example.


[1] http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/bblfish?entry=know_your_end_user

On 21 Dec 2005, at 18:00, Joshua Allen wrote:

>> type systems in computer languages. That may have been the original
>> intention but the ability to enforce types is in conflict with the
>> requirement that all RDF statements are valid, and the RDF semantics
> Right; the part I am concerned about is the consumption patterns,
> though.  There is an inherent bias in many development communities  
> to do
> the following sorts of things:
> 1) Look at some RDF; if the rdf:type is present, and the schema/ 
> contract
> does not match, ignore it or fail fatally.  This is the "postel was
> wrong" philosophy that underlies XML (and is appropriate for XML).
> 2) Look for rdf:type first, and use it as a switch to determine  
> whether
> to look for particular predicates.  In other words, type is the first
> filter, and things that do not match type fall through the bottom.
> I believe both sorts of patterns are appropriate in enterprise
> development, certain interop scenarios, and for example XSD, WSDL,  
> etc.
> But for semantic web they would be fatal (IMO).
Received on Wednesday, 21 December 2005 17:36:22 UTC

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