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Nodes and Arcs 1989-1999: WWW history and RDF (revisited...)

From: Dan Brickley <Daniel.Brickley@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 12:21:58 +0100 (BST)
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GHP.4.21.0009271157300.21478-100000@mail.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>

hi all

I've my hands full with other RDF docs right now, so figured it was
about time I circulated this sketch at a high-level background/context
paper on RDF rather than sit on it still longer.


Hmm... the document seems to have a variety of potential titles. Take
your pick:
	- Nodes and Arcs 1989-1999: WWW history and RDF
	- The WWW Proposal and RDF: Then and Now
	- Information Management: Then and Now
	- RDF, WWW and Knowledge Management
	- A digression: RDF in context (etc...)

I wrote this in November 1999 when first at MIT, after discovering that
TimBL's original 1989 WWW proposal had something very like an RDF
organisational chart of CERN. Not that such diagrams didn't exist
before, just it seemed a nice historical twist...

The document I'm currently circulating is a longer elaboration on the
basic piece that I *did* circulate, announced 1999-11-13
along with a Javascript testbed demo that showed how we can use RDF to
query structures like those outlined back in the 1989 proposal.

The longer 'thenandnow' doc was never linked in nor circulated (doh!).
I've shown it to a few people over the year and most seem to like it, so
in spirit of publishing my halfbakery, I'd be interested to know whether
folk think it worth cleaning up and finishing at some point (after the
issues list etc. is updated, obviously...).

Since I originally circulated this, I've been playing with ideas for
elaborations: GraphViz (and Rudolf RDFViz demos) can emit SVG, so the
idea of an SVG version of TimBL's diagram appeals. Jan Grant
(longsuffering officemate in Bristol) has also added a whole load of new
features to his Javascript query engine[1] that accompanied the first
version, so revisiting the interactive demo appeals. And then there's
various of us been looking at the use of the WordNet system in RDF (see
RDF IG archives), developing SQL-ish query interfaces (eg. Guha's
http://www.guha.com/rdfdb/) and more... Lots of possible elaborations
and projects that might help make static text come alive, but so little
time. So I'm ciculating http://www.w3.org/1999/11/11-WWWProposal/thenandnow
as-is, perhaps it might provide ideas for a student project or

There's a need for some more RDF 'backgrounder' pieces that explain in
broad terms why we're taking this approach; I'm wondering whether
parts of TimBL's original WWW pitch[2] does some of this work for us...


[1] http://tribble.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/~cmjg/logic/prolog-latest
[2] http://www.w3.org/History/1989/proposal.html

Received on Wednesday, 27 September 2000 07:22:02 UTC

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