Today is the day that has the world celebrating 20 years with the World Wide Web, and even though not everyone grasps the distinction between the internet and the World Wide Web, even fewer know about the original intent of Tim Berners-Lee’s invention.
In “Information Management: A Proposal“, the very first figure shows nodes with arrows between them, illustrating links — fitting for a document describing hypertext:
But look closer; the arcs have labels, describing binary relations! And the nodes are not only documents, but also databases and real life objects!
This is what the World Wide Web is all about — neither the Semantic Web nor Linked Data are afterthoughts, they are actually part of the original vision.
So now that you know, go fetch — it has taken us twenty years to get to where we are today, let’s make sure it doesn’t take that long to get the rest of the way…
At the 7th International Semantic Web Conference there is
going to be a workshop on Social Data on the Web, and CaptSolo has created a Facebook group for it:
I won’t be able to attend, but I hope they make progress…
If you are interested in Freebase, leave a comment here — I have a few invites to spare.
See also: Freebase Will Prove Addictive and Freebase (and a spurious reference to O’Reilly’s anatomy)
Related to my Slamming the Semantic Web post from the other day is Dave Winers slightly different approach:
… strong opinions are allowed, even strong opinions that disagree with mine, as long as they’re on-topic, and not personal.
Scripting News, April 12, 2007 — A rational comment policy
A smarter net has been in the works for a while, but it could need your backing!
See e.g. http://esw.w3.org/topic/PathCross — “Suppose I’m travelling to Boston and San Francisco in the next couple months. I’d like my machine to let me know I have a FriendOfaFriend who also lives there or plans to be there.”
Me, April 14, 2007 — a comment at Scripting News for 4/14/2007 on A smarter net?
That comment was submitted — verifiable thanks to coComments — but not approved.
Whenever I read an article, blog post or a comment that disses the Semantic Web, RDF or RDF/XML, I wonder why so many people find it necessary to try to belittle another technology or approach. It is almost always clear — at least to me — that there are no facts or knowledge to back up the claims, but it seems there are always enough readers out there that come away with the impression of facts instead of opinions.
I don’t know much about Topic Maps, Django or FreeBSD, but you don’t see me trying to argue that they are inferior, somewhat misguied or simply plain wrong. Even if that may be the case, I wouldn’t know, and I refuse to argue for or against something I don’t know anything about.
Perhaps those people out there feel out-of-the-loop for not understanding, and then pick arguments against another view instead of arguing for their own view? Perhaps they are trying to push an inferior technology and feel a need to make alternatives look inferior as well?
I don’t know.
But I do know, that the next time I see an “argument” against the Semantic Web, I will check the new GetSemantic Argument Wiki, and I hope that you will too.
In the meantime, please take 8 minutes of your day to watch Tim Berners-Lee talk about his vision for the web. That’s real.