RDF stores vs. Semantic Web (was Re: RDF tools as workhorse)

[I'm very grateful to Mark for asking the question re. stores, I need
to do a survey myself in the near future (an RDF DB will be used for
the project, for all the reasons people have given, but I'm not sure
yet which one).]

On 9/14/05, William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net> wrote:

> Excuse a lurker's naivete, but I've been under the impression that the
> whole point of this entire RDF/triples exercise is to deal with a MUCH
> LARGER set of data than is envisioned in this thread, i.e. the entire
> Semantic Web taken as one big database.
> The proprietary ("enterprise" is the usual buzzword) considerations are
> of much less concern to humanity since what's needed is some more
> universal everyone/everything/everywhere/always connected sort of thing.
> Finding out how many tires are in stock in Akron is an extremely small
> part of the overall point - am I missing something?

Good question, I'd be interested to hear what folks have to say on that.

I've drifted into thinking of individual RDF stores as being caches of
little parts of the Semantic Web as a whole. In a similar way that a
big proportion of the Web pages we see are actually delivered
transparently from caches/intermediary proxies despite what it says in
the address line. One difference is that a particular statement,
unlike a Web page, may not have a identifiable origin, a true home.
Another difference being that these caches will tend to be focused on
particular sets of data and have their own particular access control.
So one cache may be of tire data on a server in Ohio somewhere,
accessible only to the folks that work for that company and partners.
Some of the exact same data may be available elsewhere, perhaps
through Amazon.com's rubber products division.

There are some big problems not-very-solved from this viewpoint -
discover what data is available and where; how to pass around data and
queries - things like full or selective sync between stores; how to do
access control on the stuff. There are I think fairly mature analogs
in the pre-Web distributed computing and the Internet/Web world, but
it seems early days in their application on the SW.




Received on Thursday, 15 September 2005 12:54:54 UTC