W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > May 2017

Re: Keeping the Faith

From: Brent Shambaugh <brent.shambaugh@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 7 May 2017 13:28:20 -0500
Message-ID: <CACvcBVpUnoixqCp7DfZ0QLMm0AaiD8+gx61DZcXf6-PPVurv5Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: "semantic-web@w3.org" <semantic-web@w3.org>
I'm capable of pretty long rants when I let it all out. Thanks for
this thread. I come back to read the archives from time to time. I'm
happy you're here.
-Brent Shambaugh

GitHub: https://github.com/bshambaugh
Website: http://bshambaugh.org/
LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brent-shambaugh-9b91259
Skype: brent.shambaugh
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brent_Shambaugh
WebID: http://bshambaugh.org/foaf.rdf#me


On Sat, May 6, 2017 at 10:40 PM, Brent Shambaugh
<brent.shambaugh@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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 schema.org 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
> licensing..
>
> 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
> it.
>
> 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
> task.
>
> 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
>
> GitHub: https://github.com/bshambaugh
> Website: http://bshambaugh.org/
> LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brent-shambaugh-9b91259
> Skype: brent.shambaugh
> Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brent_Shambaugh
> WebID: http://bshambaugh.org/foaf.rdf#me
>
>
> On Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 12:05 PM, ProjectParadigm-ICT-Program
> <metadataportals@yahoo.com> 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: <http://allenai.org/semantic-scholar/>, 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
>>
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>>
>> On Sunday, April 30, 2017 11:41 AM, John Flynn <jflynn12@verizon.net> 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
>> http://semanticsimulations.com
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Brent Shambaugh [mailto:brent.shambaugh@gmail.com]
>> Sent: Friday, April 28, 2017 7:12 PM
>> To: semantic-web@w3.org
>> 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: https://github.com/bshambaugh
>> Website: http://bshambaugh.org/
>> LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brent-shambaugh-9b91259
>> Skype: brent.shambaugh
>> Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brent_Shambaugh
>> WebID: http://bshambaugh.org/foaf.rdf#me
>>
>>
>>
Received on Sunday, 7 May 2017 18:28:56 UTC

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