a matter of semantics

from Technology Review – A Smarter Web “The idea is to weave a Web that not only links […]

from Technology Review – A Smarter Web

“The idea is to weave a Web that not only links documents to each other but also recognizes the meaning of the information in those documents%u2014a task that people can ordinarily do quite well but is a tall order for computers, which can’t tell if “head” means the leader of an organization or the thing on top of a body.”

when I grow up, I want to be a crazed visionary.

more on semantic webs on semanticweb.org


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  1. 1
    John S. Rhodes

    I have to say that I think the “semantic web” is a lot like “web services” in that both are giant piles of steaming ambiguity. Perhaps the main difference is that “web services” are being backed by Microsoft and $36 billion, so they stand a chance.

    By the way, I mention both of these concepts (i.e., semantic web and web services) in the same posting because I actually think that they are the same thing. Think about it! It makes several things very interesting…

  2. 2

    John, stop saying things like “It makes several things very interesting…”. That always makes me feel like I’ve missed something. (but keep posting that usability news! love it!) Surely, web services is a VERY different thing from the semantic web.

    The SW just means metatag the hell out of everything on the web. But as a concept I don’t think it’ll work, not after having played around with topic maps, which are a much more powerful concept for metadata, and don’t need us to tag everything and invent something else than HTML. (plug: http://easytopicmaps.com)

    And web services are just a better way of hacking URL’s, really. If you want to explain how you think they’re the seem go ahead!

  3. 3

    I may have been wrong in calling the semantic web different from using topic map. Actually, topic maps are just one way to implement the greater vision of the semantic web. My mistake 🙂

  4. 4

    Although in the article the RDF approach to metadata is presented as being the semantic web, I think the topicmap way (where metadata gets kept OUTSIDE of the document) is more promising.

  5. 5
    John S. Rhodes

    Peter, this PowerPoint presentation by James Snell almost gets at what I am saying, although he sees much less overlap than I see. In my (very limited) experience with the “semantic web”, certain constructs show up again and again (e.g., data definitions and matchmaking). Of course these constructs show up in the XML literature and therefore in the “web services” literature. So, the semantic web and web services seem the same to me, or at a minimum, tightly coupled.

    Am I making any sense?

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