Re: Keeping the Faith

Thanks for your illustrious responses. I'm happy I kept it short and
general since it seemed to allow others to open up on an unfiltered
kind of way. A skeptic I won't name would say, I'm lazy. I liked that
I could drop all of my movies into Plex and they got their related
information without me doing anything. Similarly, if you could build
that Semantic Web with TensorFlow or whatever maybe I'd use it, and
maybe others would.

Actually, the lack of adoption seems incorrect. You can go to a lot of
sites it seems and see at least the dublin core, open graph protocol,
or namespaces. It's also in Drupal thanks to work by DERI
and and others, and for sure other places.

There's also the largely academic part, where specialists work on it.
There is amazing stuff out there that is well thought out. It's also
used by institutions for reasons of capital flow and persuasion that I
do not understand. Maybe they can get enough people in a room and the
person who worked with it for their doctoral project has influence.

Alluding to Dan's post, RDF it has a problem of being fiddly. Entropy
marches on. Having worked with it I know.  We always wanted more data,
but found difficultly shouldering the effort getting enough in there
that we weren't embarrassed about it. I tend to believe that building
systems to allow others to add lots of data is the way to go, but that
is work too. The problem I find is adsorbing everything. I feel I have
to be an expert myself to make a sensible application, on top of doing
everything any developer would do. I'm forced to poke around until I
find bones that encompass key parts of what I want, and sometimes I
feel I have done very little when the key parts that I feel I need
materialize after long periods of struggle. Thank goodness for liberal

I do have hope that these parts will fit together to build something
that is impressive enough that others would want to build on, in the
same way that V8 and node inspired the NPM ecosystem. It would be nice
if more user friendly tools appeared (like Jean-Marc alluded to). It
gets difficult to have every cool feature someone would want. I can't
say I've built something I'm fully happy with yet.

I do think that parts of the semantic web vision will continue to be
adopted. Whether there will be some framework or toolkit to quickly
build a semantic web (SW) application remains to be seen. But perhaps
this is pushing the SW because I'd personally like to see it. People
will only use something if it is useful. The things I mention below
are used because they quickly get people off the ground with
functionality that is argued to be difficult to achieve alone.

I think at times I know SW technologies would be most appropriate, but
it is difficult to convey this to others. Sometimes I'll suggestions
of things that give some of the promised functionality of the semantic
web like Wolfram Alpha, but are not entirely semantic web due to their
closed knowledge base (at least in 2011 when V. Lopez Thesis was
written). My goal would be to have personal contributions, not just
facts that could be found in a knowledge base (like the latter seems
to favor). The interlinking of information argument sometimes falls
flat because it is confused with the web that already exists. The
better search argument with SW tech ends with I'll bet Google is doing

I'd doubt people would add a single line of RDFa unless they knew it
would give them measurable results. I hear it gives better search
ranking, so there is a clear incentive. This action becomes useful in
aggregate. A lot of spotty information? Perhaps useful. The spotty
part is the criticism. It opens a vector to attack the aggregate
utility. My counterargument would be people tag things, couldn't you
just help people do this more intelligently. Or, following the Plex
argument, do this automatically? I know from perusing the  literature,
automatic does not seem possible. This invites worry (see below why I
do it anyway).

I think in some way I touched on a lot of arguments here.

Personally I tell myself to get out more. I got so detached from the
world trying to get something I'm happy with. I don't even really work
in the classical sense for long periods of time. This tension,
combined with the desire for future security, has sent me traveling to
other places, especially big cities, when I think it is prudent to do
so, or trying to chameleon myself when not. Occasionally, I'll talk
about it to any who listen. Some think there is something wrong with
me for fixating on one problem for so long. I feel in a way similar to
building forts in the woods as a kid (I just wanted to build out the
vision, regardless).

I did a free write before not reading this thread in full. It's the
story I tell myself.

I did the college thing. It was not lead me where I wanted to go, or
even where I was told it would take me when doubts emerged. I had
trouble fitting in, fell pretty hard doing so, so I stopped trying and
instead tried to solve a problem that irritated me. This was great in
that it freed me from worrying about what I was supposed to do. I did
not need to follow the leaders either. Following an idea led me to be
motivated enough to think critically, stick with it, think about it
enthusiastically and creatively when I was not doing it, and made me
feel as if I was not the output of some industrial process.
Unfortunately, this leads to feeling and being out of place sometimes,
but that is something to master.

There are things that people are psyched about locally. Here is a list:

React - Facebook
Bootstrap - Twitter
Jasmine - Pivotal
Atom - GitHub
Electron - GitHub
Angular - Google
Karma - Google
Ionic - Google (and others)

Also: Gulp, Grunt, Sass, Docker, WebPack, Travis, NPM, Express.js, Yeoman

What employers want. Above is a bonus:
Java and C#

People are either genuinely interested in these, or feel that they
MUST master them to be considered a competent developer by those that
hire developers. I am enthralled by things that appear to be solutions
to problems that personally irritate me. If the MUST comes into play
I'm a lot less motivated, and use considerable energy just to stay on

The semantic web data model (RDF) is pretty simple. There are a lot of
caveats to make a solution to my particular problem work swimmingly
that I've personally had to learn and document. Things like MVC ,
styling, and many of the things above seemed great but created a
swamp. I found more satisfaction refining my solution to the problem
that irritated me.

Trying to be anything mainstream, or be "competitive", led to
confusion and comparing myself to others I deemed better than me
(devaluing myself in the process).

Gradually I am pulling in some of the MUST. (oops, is Require.js up
there?),  but only because they are useful.

So what if linked data or the semantic web is not trendy in all
circles. It was a solution to a problem that irritated me. My initial
motivation was not trendiness. I was not out to fill out a label. It
wasn't to follow what was typical of people with my education in
college or even of developers. I'm done with speaking three sentences
and later contradicting myself.

Verbose, but hopefully useful
-Brent Shambaugh

Skype: brent.shambaugh

On Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 12:05 PM, ProjectParadigm-ICT-Program
<> wrote:
> You  may find solace in knowing that big names are willing to fund projects
> that could jump start and accelerate semantic web technologies.
> See: <>, the Semantic Scholar project
> funded by the Allen Institute for  AI.
> My prediction is that the semantic web will get a major accelerator effect
> and push once science publishers, eHealth, mHealth, projects like Watson
> find common ground applications, and when the global initiative to bring
> science to the masses, like the March for Science Initiative and the UN
> Sustainable Development Goals get their big data footing in solid new data
> mining and semantic content generation technologies.
> Open and inclusive science fosters open and inclusive science publishing,
> which will in turn drive new technologies for (search on) linked data on the
> Internet.
> And I haven't even factored in the advent of all semantic web technologies
> being created for overlay structures for the Internet of Things.
> Milton Ponson
> GSM: +297 747 8280
> PO Box 1154, Oranjestad
> Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
> Project Paradigm: A structured approach to bringing the tools for
> sustainable development to all stakeholders worldwide through collaborative
> research on applied mathematics, advanced modeling and creating ICT tools
> for development
> This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
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> On Sunday, April 30, 2017 11:41 AM, John Flynn <> wrote:
> Brent,
> There have been some excellent discussions in response to your email. As the
> integration program manager for the DARPA Agent Markup Language (DAML)I
> became a true believer. The DAML project started with RDF and extended the
> concept to allow significant representation capabilities based on
> descriptive logic principles, resulting originally in DAML, which eventually
> evolved into the Web Ontology Language (OWL). I believed the representation
> capabilities of OWL were adequate, and attractive enough, to allow
> communities of interest to develop semantic representations of their
> specific domains in a way that would interact with each other, eventually
> providing a standard semantic representation of most of the important
> information on the web. That didn't happen. One underlying issue was tension
> between the idea of migrating HTML web page information into a semantic
> representation and the idea of providing semantic representation of large
> raw data sources instead of HTML data. Of course, ideally you could do both,
> but they require different approaches and dilute the technical research
> capabilities available to find viable solutions. Another issue is the
> tendency to develop competing technical solutions, sometimes based on the
> desire for companies to own a proprietary solution, and sometimes based on
> the natural desire to build a better mousetrap. This is reminiscent of the
> history of the ADA programming language. At the time there were true
> believers that ADA could become the universal standard for large-scale
> computer programming - providing huge benefits in reusable code and friendly
> interactions between independently developed applications. The same sort of
> tensions pulled on the concept of ADA. Companies wanted proprietary
> solutions and researches made valid points that no single language could
> cover all their individual needs.
> So, where does that leave us. Research and development will continue on
> aspects of the semantic web concept. Actual implementations of specific
> successful solutions within specific domains will continue to occur. A
> globally accepted single approach to semantic representation in the spirit
> of the success of the original HTML Web will probably eventually occur. The
> promise, and scope, of benefits are compelling and I am keeping the faith.
> However, my expectation for the time of redemption has been extended
> significantly.
> John Flynn
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brent Shambaugh []
> Sent: Friday, April 28, 2017 7:12 PM
> To:
> Subject: Keeping the Faith
> General Question:
> How do you keep the faith or vision with respect to semantic web and linked
> data? I'm also in an area where there is not a lot of venture capital (well
> some) nor (many) people having a lot of understanding of the area. At least
> it does not score you a talk. Is the field of dreams mentality of "if you
> build it, he will come"?
> -Brent Shambaugh
> GitHub:
> Website:
> LinkedIN:
> Skype: brent.shambaugh
> Twitter:
> WebID:

Received on Sunday, 7 May 2017 03:40:52 UTC