W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > April 2002

RE: Documents, Cars, Hills, and Valleys

From: Miles Sabin <msabin@interx.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002 10:50:28 +0100
To: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000701c1eaac$4ccdba30$a3eab8c3@milessabin.com>
Joshua Allen wrote,
> In practice, there is no semantic web yet.  And in practice, people
> using identifiers in gratuitously ambiguous ways will never be a 
> part of a global semantic web.  We all agree that these people will 
> probably be able to do interesting things with their polluted 
> metadata, and perhaps even build bridges to the global semantic web 
> through lots of manual conversion.  But that's about as relevant to 
> "the semantic web" as hypercard was to the WWW. 

So the semantic web would work fine if it weren't for all those
irritating people?

I think we're as far apart as we could possibly be here. I think the
web is as useful as it is _because_ it's constituted of links and
associations made by people, with semantic intent. Those intentions
are why, eg. Google can do so much with link topologies in the absence 
of any understanding: it can piggyback on meaning which is extrinsic
to the URIs it traverses. Those semantic intentions mean that the web
inherits many of the characteristics of natural languages, and you
ignore that at your peril, IMO.

Aren't you simply trying to set up a closed world in another guise? 
One where language is guaranteed not to be ambiguous or vague or
inconsistent? Haven't we been there before?


Received on Tuesday, 23 April 2002 05:51:01 UTC

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