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Re: [tangle] getting the semweb exactly wrong

From: Jan Algermissen <jalgermissen@topicmapping.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 20:48:21 +0100
Message-Id: <874E2B9D-9BF6-4466-AA9B-A8DA105CFF94@topicmapping.com>
Cc: Frank Manola <fmanola@acm.org>, Timothy Falconer <timothy@immuexa.com>, semantic-web@w3.org
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>


On Jan 4, 2006, at 8:03 PM, Tim Berners-Lee wrote:

>> IOW, what is the killer argument for abandoning my RDBMS and using  
>> an RDF store instead?
> One answer is: don't!  The SemWeb is about conecting the data to  
> what it means.
> Keep the data in the place where it works and runs fast.

Yes, agreed. I had in mind a situation where there is no legacy data  
and applications. To rephrase the question: is there any compelling  
advantage of using an RDBMS and not an RDF store *when you start from  

> Find/Write ontologies about what the data is about.
> Run a virtual RDF server (supporting SPARQL if a large DB) on top  
> of the data.

Yes, doing exactly that in several projects. An interesting issue  
here is what the API between the legacy store and the RDF server  
(with SPARQL engine) is. Clearly, it would  be hard to implement one  
SPARQL engine per legacy store. OTH, building a SPARQL engine without  
deep connection to the legacy data's actual storage would greatly  
limit the kinds of indexes etc. one could use (not to mention  
transactionality, query execution plans and stuff like that).

And....IMHO, the limitations of the legacy data model (being usually  
more constraining than RDF - consider inherent typing for example)  
would propagate to the RDF level as limitations on what queries could  
be run and what queries could not.


P.S. In the pure Semantic Web context, I agree with you. I just try  
to leverage RDF/OWL and REST for enterprise IT.

> publish the connection between the database columns and the ontolgies.
> Look at ways to connect the DB with others inside & outside the  
> company.
> Write new reports in terms the model at higher level of  
> abstraction, using the RDF apis.
> Tim

Jan Algermissen, Consultant & Programmer                         
Tugboat Consulting, 'Applying Web technology to enterprise IT'   
Received on Wednesday, 4 January 2006 19:48:33 UTC

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