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Re: A discussion: Is semantic web an old fashioned idea? Is it bubble, unworthy or an interesting research area - Post your comments

From: Nick Gibbins <nmg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 17:42:34 +0100
Message-ID: <40D0787A.4080308@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
To: Miltiadis Lytras <mdl@eltrun.gr>
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org, www-annotation@w3.org, acl@opus.cs.columbia.edu, kaw@swi.psy.uva.nl, daml-all@daml.org, ontoweb-list@www1-c703.uibk.ac.at, seweb-list@www1-c703.uibk.ac.at, irlist-editor@acm.org, ontology@fipa.org, ontology@cs.umbc.edu

Miltiadis Lytras wrote:

>   1. In 6 years time with ZERO hype and an insignificant
>      amount of funding, the WWW evolved from a couple
>      of lonely programmers to Netscape and the essential
>      features of what we see on the web today.

>   2. In 6 years (1998 to 2004) with ENORMOUS hype and
>      funding, the semantic web has evolved from Tim BL's
>      book to a few prototype applications, which are less
>      advanced than technologies of the 1970s such as SQL,
>      Prolog, and expert systems -- and they're doing it
>      with XML, which is far less advanced than LISP,
>      which was developed in the 1950s.

While I have some sympathy with his cautious attitude towards the Semantic
Web, Sowa misses the rich history of hypertext systems that the WWW draws
on. A different characterisation of the growth of the Web might be:

    1. In 6 years (1989 to 1995) with some hype and not
       insignificant EU and US funding, the WWW evolved from
       Tim BL's original proposal to a widespread but simple
       system which is less advanced in certain ways than
       previous hypermedia systems, such as the Hypertext
       Editing System, Xanadu, NLS, OWL-Guide and Hypercard

Nick Gibbins                                            nmg@ecs.soton.ac.uk
IAM (Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia)             tel: +44 (0) 23 80598347
Electronics and Computer Science                   fax: +44 (0) 23 80592865
University of Southampton
Received on Wednesday, 16 June 2004 12:43:57 UTC

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