The Semantic Web has been discussed and debated by academics for years, and really, we are not getting anywhere fast. This post will discuss how to start building semantics into your website from the ground up. While doing this won't create the create the great Semantic Web straight away, it will provide an underground layer of accessible data which applications can start processing and using.
Tag: Semantic Markup
Published 10 years ago by James Simmons
I was reading a blog entry by Matt at PeerPressure that brings up a point worth sharing. One of the biggest problems supporters of the Semantic Web initially faced was, as Matt stated, the classic tech catch 22. His explanation is:
- Semantic metadata for video and other multimedia?
- Will a new platform away from the browser have huge success? (ala Joost)
- How can video games benefit from what we're doing with the Semantic Web?
- Is Wikipedia the best playground for natural language processors to test their ability?
- Does the World Wide Web as we know it need to be replaced?
- Is HTTP inadequate for the future of the Web where streaming and maintaining state are becoming increasingly important?
- Are we entering another brutal browser war? Maybe this one will be different because we know the importance of compatability
- Will RDF or RDF/a be adopted by mainstream Web developers to markup semantic metadata?
- ...Or will something come along that's better suited and easier for beginners to pick-up
- Are we making any progress as-is towards our goal, or do we need to look for a different approach?
- Is the best course bottom-up (building the Semantic Web from the ground up by using semantic markup, microformats, RDF, etc) or is it top-down (using natural language processors to read the Web and make sense of it for us).
- With the freedom to create any RDF vocabulary or any ontology for that matter, will the real power be in mapping my meaning to your meaning?
The journey from now to the Semantic Web is a long one. What we currently have on our hands with the current version of the Web are billions of documents totaling terabytes of data. This data is usually found within HTML pages comprised mainly of non-validating markup and very little, if any, meta data.
While there are billions of documents on the Web that contain no meta data whatsoever there is one shining star of hope: Natural Language Processing. NLP can be used to sift through the "garbage" data to extract coherent statements about the information held within.
Let's face it, Web documents in their current state are just about the worst way we exchange data. It usually comes in the form of HTML or XHTML, and rarely validates to any degree. In order to begin our approach towards Tim Berners-Lee's dream of the Semantic Web we must begin writing valid, semantic markup.
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