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Re: [ontolog-forum] Current Semantic Web Layer Cake

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 05 Aug 2007 17:41:11 -0500
Message-id: <E997FE12-CC2C-4B08-A259-BA56A85AF947@xxxxxxxx>
On Aug 5, 2007, at 11:37 AM, Frank Guerino wrote:
> On 8/5/07 4:22 AM, "Danny Ayers" <danny.ayers@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> > We have something approaching standardisation on protocol (HTTP)
> HTTP is by no means the type of protocol that will allow "systems"  
> to communicate and interact with each other in such a way that will  
> get them to where they need to be for the vision of Semantic Web.   
> HTTP is a lower order protocol for simple put/get data to/from a  
> system.
> > and document representation (HTML). There are still a large  
> variety of
> > data representations, but many are becoming available as XML syntax.
> Again, this is also true with HTML, which is rudimentary, at best.   
> For systems to interact, there will have to be highly defined  
> dictionaries,    (01)

Right, we call those ontologies in these parts. :-)    (02)

> grammars, languages,    (03)

Check; we've got some good ones there -- OWL, Common Logic, etc.   
Even RDF, though it's pretty underpowered for serious knowledge sharing.    (04)

> context analyzers,    (05)

Not sure what a context *analyzer* is, but yes, when context can  
affect meaning, it's important to have some sort of mechanism for  
dealing with it.  Hard problem for sure, in general.    (06)

> Think of how the brain works and how it breaks down information and  
> also how it uses it to categorize, store, structure, correlate,  
> index, find, recall, aggregate, transform, format, render, etc.  
> everything it works with.    (07)

What good it will do us to think about how the brain works?  We do  
indeed need to deal with such issues as categorization, storage,  
recall, etc, but we're doing all those things on computers. How will  
thinking about how the brain works help us do those things better?    (08)

> And, this does not even get into the more complex aspects of how it  
> takes all of this and correlates it to motor skills, senses,  
> communication with other entities, etc.    (09)

Ditto.    (010)

> > The step to using a common baseline data model such as RDF may seem
> > improbable, but I personally believe that the gains it offers are
> > becoming visible enough to encourage widespread adoption.
> >
> > I think an important point to bear in mind is that  
> there_will_be_a_future!
> > There is everything to suggest that the future Web will involve more
> > connectivity between services and increased access to data that is
> > currently hidden in silos. There will be a "Web 3.0", how much  
> energy
> > has to be spent getting there is another matter...
> >
> > The advantage of using RDF and associated techniques over arbitrary
> > data representations is that when a new service or repository is  
> added
> > it's automatically part of the whole, without having to  
> connecting to
> > a matrix of X^2 different representations.
> >
> > This doesn't mean every data/document producer has to publish RDF
> > directly, or that when they do it has to be hard work. Tools for
> > semi-automatically mapping from RDBMSs are available, and the GRDDL
> > technique [1] allows existing XML material to be viewed as RDF  
> without
> > *any* additional work from individual publishers, just a one-off  
> tweak
> > to the namespace document.
> Danny, I get you're point.  However, take a look at what RDF is  
> really all about... It's about "Relationships".    (011)

Well, I think it is a more accurate to say that RDF is about *things*  
-- whatever things you like.  It's just that what we *say* about  
those things in RDF is typically that one thing (Riesling, say)  
stands in a certain relationship (rdfs:subClassOf, say) to some other  
thing (white wine, say).  To say it is *about* relationships suggests  
that relations themselves are the primary semantic subject matter of  
RDF(S), and that's just not so.    (012)

> Most systems in the world don't know how to capture, define,  
> standardize, categorize, store, communicate, etc. relationships.    (013)

I don't understand this claim.  Every relational database in the  
world can be said to capture, define, standardize (maybe),  
categorize, store, communicate (maybe) relationships.    (014)

> The world is still struggling with the simplest of issues, which is  
> dealing with flat content.  In order for RDF to really work, not  
> only do systems have to speak the same data dictionary language for  
> flat content, they also now need to understand how create, manage,  
> and communicate "relationships".  And, anyone that has really tried  
> to use RDF knows that it has many issues that act as barriers for  
> real use.    (015)

What barriers do you have in mind?    (016)

> If you want to use it in a successful manner, you really can only  
> use “pieces” of it that are modified for real world use.    (017)

Which "pieces" exactly?  And how do they have to be modified?  And  
which "pieces" can you not so modify and use successfully?  And why  
not?  Please be specific.  Reference to the W3C RDF specs, especially  
the documents detailing RDF syntax (http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-rdf- 
syntax-grammar-20040210) and semantics (http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC- 
rdf-mt-20040210) would be very helpful.    (018)

Regards,    (019)

Chris Menzel    (020)

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