RE: Wanted: Web services standard (Article)

I myself have found very very few people who actually understand what RDF
is. They generally jump away from it as soon as they realize they have a few
large documents to read even before they understand if it will do the job of
their requirements.

Thankfully we have been using RDF from an Architectural decision and so to
an extent it has been people's job to learn it and when it can be useful
(and it is and will be a tremendous help in our organization).

One question - and i haven't look around much. Is there somewhere that
details RDF use cases and maybe even some sample applications of RDF -
targetted at people who would use this in a typical enterprise. I know there
are some disparate examples around the web - generally of things that we
would never do in our Enterprise.. which is maybe where this idea of "AI"
comes in (typical implementers people don't understand it).


-----Original Message-----
From: Hutchison, Nigel []
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2002 8:46 AM
To: ''
Cc: Champion, Mike; Gaertner, Dietmar
Subject: RE: Wanted: Web services standard (Article)

There are a couple of things which make RDF and the Semantic Web difficult
to sell.

One is that it is a wee bit boring. I've yet to see a presentation about RDF
which is as interesting as, for instance a Topic maps presentation. In a
desperate attempt to make their subject interesting some presenters make a
giant leap from the nitty gritty to the "This will make the world wide web
understandable by machines" sort of statement (accompanied by arm waving).
This gets picked up by the sort of people who write articles like the one
below or even worse by the people quoted in it. They are bored by the first
half of the presentation and misled by the second.

In fact RDF is pretty useful starting at the really banal level. If you have
a lot of  RDF information  you can build things which are not in fact banal
and are really useful and so on. This doesn't seem to be getting across.

What is so great about atoms is that you can build molecules from them. Some
molecules can be really interesting - we call them proteins - and so on -
ultimately you get really unimaginable consequences like elephants and
people, who build jumbo jets etc. But, - looking at atoms, it is not obvious
that it is so .

It was not obvious in the early nineties that something as primitive as HTTP
and HTML would scale up to what we have now. 

Quite a few people - not just journalists and analysts - have great
difficulty jumping this chasm. It would be nice if we could show them a

Sure some people may be clever enough one day to build and AI application
that uses RDF information. But the 99% of other useful possible applications
of RDF which are modest enough to be only fast or sophisticated or
interoperable or extensible or comprehensive or user friendly are getting
labeled as as A.I.

What we get  is the message that the Semantic Web will enhance Web Services
by applying AI to them. Oh yeah?

This does not help


Nigel Hutchison


Nigel W.O Hutchison
Chief Scientist 
Software AG
Uhlandstr 12,D-64297 Darmstadt, Germany
+49 6151 92 1207

-----Original Message-----
From: John Punin []
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2002 6:08 AM
Cc: John Punin
Subject: Wanted: Web services standard (Article)

Joshua Allen sent this message to XML-dev :

Looks like the beginnings of an invented controversy.  "AI-Nut Semantic
Webbers vs. Greedy Conglomerate Web Service-ites".  I would hate to see
people fall for this ploy to write exciting copy and end up polarizing
their opinions.

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Received on Wednesday, 13 February 2002 04:44:58 UTC