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- From: "Sean B. Palmer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: "Simon St.Laurent" <email@example.com>, xml-dev <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 15:49:13 +0000
> Are you just talking about machine-readable versus human-readable?
> Or something architectural?
Well, machine readable and human readable are slightly ambiguous terms,
because what is human readable can also be macine readable sometimes and
vice versa. I'm not saying that a machine can understand a book, or that a
human would want to read endless streams of XML data, but there are some
times when the boundaries between the two are blurred.
Anyway, that's not what I was refering to (well, I was implying it, but
it's not my primary concern). What I meant was that the Semantic Web is not
a method for saying "this page was authored by x", because there is no way
to assert that.
This is a basic architetural SW principle: the SW is a Web of data,
intended for humans. All of this ontological stuff and so on it just there
to facilitate the main aim of providing a queryable world wide database.
The SW is not the WWW! A typical thing I might do on a fully developed
Semantic Web might be to ask it what times the next train is coming, or
when my next appointment is, and from that where it is, who it is with etc.
It should also be a database for communicating information in XML:
invoices, GPS data, timetables and agenda for our next meeting. It is a
more human Web than the WWW, even though its intention is for machine
processable data. What I mean by that is that the machines will be taking
some of the burden off of us.
People who say that the SW is a bad vision, or un-implementable are clearly
missing the point: the Semantic Web should be a Web that helps us to do
things that would be better covered by machines. It's already in existance
to some extent, but it's not being realised to anywhee near its full
potential. The Semantic Web is whatever we want it to be.
Sean B. Palmer
"Perhaps, but let's not get bogged down in semantics."
- Homer J. Simpson, BABF07.