Tim Berners-Lee original vision was for the web is what we today call the Semantic Web:
I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable ofanalyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, andtransactions between people and computers. A “Semantic Web”, whichmakes this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, theday-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives willbe handled by machines talking to machines. The “intelligent agents”people have touted for ages will finally materialize.
Today, we are drowning in an acronym soup of RDF, RDFa, SKOS, OWL, SPARQL, FOAF, mixed up in various Triple Stores and Schemas. And for the past 10 (15?) years, weve seen the key enabler of the Semantic Web, working metadata, never quite arrive. Indeed, Cory Doctorow calls it metacrap… http://www.well.com/~doctorow/metacrap.htm
However, much of the promise of search engines is based around the “understanding” of the queries and the data indexed. And maybe, just maybe, we are finally at the point, with emergence of Web 3.0, that the promise of the Semantic Web is ready to happen. Not hip to Web 3.0? Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Davidjcmorris/Web_3.0
Alex Strumminger, who some of you know, did much of the semantic work for UNICEFs website, but ran up against all the limitations of the historical suite of semantic technologies. Tomorrow hell be joining us to work through how to use Semantic in a practical way.
Alex and his colleagues have been experimenting with an open source project, OpenStructs.org, as a platform, and Alex will walk us through their setup, done in EC2. Hes working on having some of the core developers at OpenStructs.org be available to us that day.
Come join us at lunch time at OSC and play around with some fun semantic technologies. Well be working in small teams on various topics. Hopefully this goes a long way towards taking the Semantic web from a set of acronyms to a real tool!