W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > September 2001

Smart Tags are stupid ?

From: Lei L Zhang <leiz@cn.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 11:20:15 +0800
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org, semanticweb-business@yahoogroups.com
Message-ID: <OF83E5786D.19298CC8-ON48256ABC.0009F660@cn.ibm.com>
When I read the recent posts about "RDF-In-XHTML" in the www-rdf-interest
maillist, I thought of the way Microsoft has done it, although it may be
stupid. In MS Smart Tags, the way to declare semantic entities is like

<html xmlns:NS="http://some_ns">

I don't know whether it conforms to any standards, but it really works in
IE. You may find more info about the Smart Tags here:

What I'd like to say here, is

Firstly, I'm not a advocator of MS (without this declaration, I suppose I
would be inundated with critics). Why not we take a look at this technology
technically, neutrally and seriously? It is a major feature in the recent
release of Office XP which is the vital product of our big "friend".

Secondly, in my personal oppinion, Smart Tags may be (just may be) the
first and the largest bussiness application of the Semantic Web. Just as
many people are still wondering how to gain the critical mass of users for
the Semantic Web and who will be the knowledge providers, MS has already
made a step and it may help on this. Once the MS users around the world
find that the semantic tags are useful, the critical mass for the Semantic
Web is achieved! Of couse, at the same time, we must do something to make
sure that MS couldn't take all the users away from the real Semantic Web.

Finally, Smart Tags are not new, we saw similar technologies in [1][2].
Let's call them ontology-based browsing technologies. If they could bring
us the critical mass of Semantic Web, that would be great. The bad news is,
as Smart Tags has encountered, there may be legal issues around this
technology (see the Wall Street Journal article
http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20010628.html for reference) which has
caused MS to drop it from Windows XP. This should be a remainder for the
Semantic Web technology developers, does your technology have legal issues
if it is applied to the real world ?

[1] Personal Ontologies for Web Navigation, Proc. 9th Intl. Conf. on
Information and Knowledge Management,
[2] Conceptual Open Hypermedia = The Semantic Web ?  WWW10 Semantic Web

Allan Chang
Received on Sunday, 2 September 2001 23:21:08 UTC

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