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   Re: Semantic Web "Definition"

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  • From: "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@mysterylights.com>
  • To: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>, xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 15:11:56 +0000

> Thus far the semantic web is the application of semantic
> network technologies to the problems of discovery and
> association of resources.

That is only a very small part of a rapidly growing community: RDF/RDF
Schemas, ontologies, logic systems, network databases, meta-information of
all kinds, annotation systems, RDF API's...and so on. Semantic network
technologies are almost the last part (SW specific API's are still a dream)
of the development.

> Semantic networks evolved
> from late sixties research into case grammars.  This is
> not ambiguous or fuzzy.  It describes a meta-data
> service to which other services can be routed to
> aid in classification and pattern recognition tasks
> involving text-based conceptual descriptions.

I agree, but this is mainly semantic with a small "s", not Semantic Web,
rather semantic as in meta-data classifcation techniques etc.

> The debate on the meaning of the term is intense
> given the importance and source of such assertions as
> "the semantic web is the future of the www[...] Requirements
> such as "describing every possible aspect of your data"
> are impossible to meet and will not be considered
> seriously

You think? That is the "aim" of the SW: where everything is so connected
that proof validation becomes possible. Describing every possible aspect of
your data will become possible (athough according to TimBL, proof generation
will not be a required part of the SW).

> The nebulousness of the term "semantic web" leaves a
> lot to be desired if one is trying to write hard
> requirements for scheduled projects.   A precise
> description of a meta-data service based on sharing
> RDF documents has a better chance of being taken
> seriously.

Are you saying the SW isn't being taken seriously? If so, I could cite all
RDF/DC/W3C meta-data efforts as proof to the contrary! RDF etc. are all
integral parts of the application and architecture side of the SW. They are
not an end to the means, but they are a good step in the right direction.
Could you give an example of a meta-data based service for me? I agree that
meta-data based services will be easier to explain/describe etc. than the SW
as an entity in itself; imagine trying to concisely explain the WWW. That is
in essence what we are trying to do: the SW is evolving from the WWW!

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
"Perhaps, but let's not get bogged down in semantics."
   - Homer J. Simpson, BABF07.


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