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   Fertile SemWebApps

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If we are to have killer apps, maybe apps that make a 
technology grow should be offered as well.  What would 
give me something useful today:

1.  A design group posts design notes semi-annually. 
There are say, 85 of these every four to six months. 
Proposals, Implementation, Certification and Training 
all receive email notifications when these are posted. 
But everyone is busy and it can be some time until 
they read these.  Even if they do, the details down 
to the control and field are more than anyone can 
master with a single or even repeated readings. They 
use these documents for diverse tasks from answering 
questions in a proposal, questions in a demo, questions 
in a classroom, and so on.   Each of those questions 
have different levels of formality and impact on the 
business process, customer expectations and requirements 
and so on.  They need agents that read for them and 
when asked a question (not a SQL query; a reasonable 
representation of a natural language question), returns 
a list of URIs that are applicable. In short, if 
possible, they'd like an agent that reads the RFP, etc. 
and makes recommendations about online company 
resources or others that will be pertinent to the 
document at hand. (yes, I know about Oracle Context. 
It COSTS TOO MUCH, Ellison.)

2.  Two programmers at opposite sides of the planet 
working a shared project are having a battle of halfwits 
to determine whose design is better.  Meanwhile the 
clock is running and schedules are slipping while 
others wait on these MastersOfTheAbstractAndNotVeryImportant 
details.  Upstream of them, proposal personnel, 
sales personnel and contract lawyers have already predetermined 
that these designs will interoperate in accordance 
with a predetermined schema.  An agent that informs 
them of this fact and that by the way, the Record 
of Authority (ROA) is named THIS URI hosted at a site 
where the owners are sharp enough to realize that 
a formal URI MUST be assigned to a public record 
of authority for a shared process.  Don't talk to 
me about versioning.  Just send the bloody URI.

It is a lot of fun to argue about the abstractions 
of resources vs documents, the infinitely recursive 
imprecision of describing all of these, the lack of 
our control over this random and even hostile universe, 
but at the end of the day all the user needs 
is a URL to *a file*.  If the semweb can't help the 
humans find and retrieve the right file at the right 
time for the right requirement, it's just more 
CaucasoidCaca and we don't need it.  If it can, 
then bring it on and let's get on with growing 
our businesses.

Len Bullard
Senior Technical Consultant
Intergraph Public Safety


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