W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > April 2010

Re: connections

From: Alexander Johannesen <alexander.johannesen@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2010 18:51:32 +1000
Message-ID: <s2qf950954e1004170151lec33309atce0914d3a93b0a72@mail.gmail.com>
To: Lee Feigenbaum <lee@thefigtrees.net>
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
On Sat, Apr 17, 2010 at 17:33, Lee Feigenbaum <lee@thefigtrees.net> wrote:
>> I personally think it is the one you left out;
> Oh, I left out way more than one!

Ok, one of the many, many you left out.

>>  * The tools we use to ingest and make sense of the data sucks.
> If we had compelling enough applications of the *data*, wouldn't we build
> the tools we need?


>> Feel free to point to systems that are fuzzy enough to deal with the
>> onslaught of human information and create real knowledge from it. :)
>> (My biggest contenter is still Google Search, and they do it better
>> without all this hocus pocus RDF business)
> This sounds more like "doing something with the data we have is too
> difficult" or "the content of the data isn't what we need [without lots of
> extra processing" then a deficiency in the tools available.

Hmm, not following you, but maybe a clarification of what "tools" mean
to me might help; In my world, tools is the generic form of "doing
something with the data that might solve some problem", be it
applications, services or, indeed, the more folksy definition of

The Semantic Web was crafted on the potential of fixing problems a tad
bit better than what we already had that already fixed the problems,
so basically fixing a non-existent problem. It was also built on the
promise of reusable ontologies on top of data, and even though the
promise wasn't held the potential is still there, for sure. But we
haven't got the tools to deal with that part of it all that took us
(speaking in generic fuzzy terms here) by surprise;

Humans aren't strongly typed, and the data we create sort of falls in
between strong and no type, where our tools have to do what our brains
do with ease; fill in the gaps. But that seems like an almost
impossible task for software at the moment *because* the breadth of
our current SemWeb tools have far too much scope for our systems to
deal with it, and certainly in any pragmatic form. (But I'm sure
people will pipe up with their domain specific tools that convert the
informolasses into domain specific nuggets of re-usable knowledge. I'm
doing that myself, for one.)

All this data and their weak relationships are great to play with,
though, and it might shape things to come, but to get the masses to do
something interesting with it you need to convince them that
"ontology" is even a word that deserves a place in our daily
languages. (And don't tell me linked data doesn't need ontologies; a
kick in the shin if you do) Tough call, I'd say. If you say to them
"model", they immediately reach for Toad or some RDBMS thingy. If you
say "triplet" or, even worse, "tuple", they might think you're talking
about raising kids.

In other words, the technology, its promises and potential means
*nothing* when a small paradigm shift is needed.


 Project Wrangler, SOA, Information Alchemist, UX, RESTafarian, Topic Maps
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Received on Saturday, 17 April 2010 08:52:05 UTC

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