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Re: "destabilizing core technologies: was Re: An RDF wishlist

From: Ian Davis <lists@iandavis.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2010 10:25:55 +0100
Message-ID: <AANLkTikrLzzw-EmRQMN5Yt4XGE5Z0pNBv4c0tQehAz-B@mail.gmail.com>
To: Patrick Durusau <patrick@durusau.net>
Cc: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>

Without disputing your wider point that HTML hit the sweet point of
usability and utility I will dispute the following:

> HTML 3.2 did have:
> 1) *A need perceived by users as needing to be met*

Did users really know they wanted to link documents together to form a
world wide web? I spent much of the late nineties persuading companies
and individuals of the merits of being part of this new web thing and
then gritting my teeth when it came to actually showing them how to
get a page online - it was a painful confusion of text editors ( no
you can't use wordperfect ), fumbling in the dark ( no wysiwyg ),
dialup ( you mean I have to pay?)  and ftp! When MS frontpage came
along the users loved it because all that pain went away but they
could not understand why so many people laughed at the results.

I think we all have short memories.

The advantage that HTML had was that people were able to use it before
creating their own, i.e. they were aleady reading websites so could at
some point say "I want to make one of those". The problem RDF is
gradually overcoming is this bootstrapping stage. It has a harder time
because, to be frank, data is dull. But now people are seeing some of
the data being made available in browseable form e.g. at data.gov.uk
or dbpedia and saying, "I want to make one of those".

Received on Friday, 2 July 2010 09:26:28 UTC

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