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Re: Semantic Web (Was: [ANN]: /refind.xml)

on 8/2/01 1:12 PM, Daniel Veillard at veillard@redhat.com wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 02, 2001 at 11:45:10AM -0400, team refind wrote:
>> The semantic web will never happen until all members of society
>> participate. People will *never* participate until they see benefits. The
>> burden is on us all as developers to make things drastically simpler and
>> empower every citizen with the power of information. Only when computers can
> Hum, semantic: yes, web: yes ! semantic web: very doubtful ...
> After 3 years of rpmfind experience (large catalog/database of mostly
> Linux free software [1]), well I don't believe much in a Semantic Web as
> defined by most people. I do provide an RDF [2] catalog for all the database
> content. I think I can try to draw a few lessons from this experiment up to
> now:

Nobody has ever conceived that semantic web could boot strap itself by those
who avoided the web due to complexity. Nor is /refind.xml claiming to be an
end all solution. This is all about incremental steps that must occur before
"Semantic Web Vision" can even start.

Those who avoided the web drastically outnumber those on the web. We want
their first step onto the web to contain metadata.

If a year from now, if all /refind.xml accomplishes is to get every body in
the Yellow Pages to cough up their normal info (plus an hours of operation),
all in xml (and we put the file out on the web), then computers can start to
answer questions like "find me the nearest one that is open."  The visually
impaired will finally be able to walk around with gps devices that read back
the store sign. I consider that a good thing, worth the effort.

/refind.xml is an experiment in progress.  Incremental steps to a more
fruitful evolution--- Tackling inert masses of indifference; hopefully
through the purity of thought. We can only help those who want to help
themselves. Nor are we asking people to rewrite their websites or change
their work flows. All we are asking for a tiny bit of xml so that eventually
all the ontologies, inferencing layers can do better work because they'd
know where out on the web to start from even if it's nothing else but to a
more intelligent "grep".

> If I had to rebuild the service from scratch I would probably still use it
> anyways, maybe the next report 3 years from now will allow to claim success,
> but it is really doubtful. I'm also  still waiting for a free software
> database targetted at XML, I'm more optimistic on this one :-)
to quote albert camus,
"he who has hope for the human condition is a fool" :-)


> Daniel
> [1] http://rpmfind.net/linux/RPM/
> [2] http://rpmfind.net/linux/RDF/
> [3] http://ximian.com/