This will be a short piece on my ideas of the semantic web as I know it. As I know it, the Semantic web Idea is a good one. Placing meaning to the content on the web. if want to search for articles on how chairs are good, i will get articles of chairs that are based off a rating scale and not department chairs. Context, meaning, thats what its all about. I’ve covered this in greate detail before so i wont beat an already dead horse. What I will do is state here that the Semantic Web i dead.
The Semantic Web is dead as people and researchers know it. The Semantic Web wont work with a new browser such as Jena, wont work with over complex OWL and RDF tag libraries, and it wont work with content that people wont share let alone share for free. Business, especially big business needs to make money not try change the world by sharing content to the masses.
The semantic web will live on in the form of widgets, modules. The RDF and OWL tags will be us. People, humans. the same people that give meaning and preference to differnt types of content given a context. Even if RDF was used one article will have dramatic different meanings to each person reading it. Ultimately we will be those tags. We will create our own widgets provided the tools to do so and create our semantic cluster.
The semantic cluster, is a collection of content that provides meaning to us on a personal level. The semantic cluster is a collection of widgets much like the widget that appear on my mac when i click on F12. its a collection of “things” that i need, things that i deem to be useful to me in my day to day activities.
A few tools are now making their way into the main stream technology vernacular, AIR, SilverLight, and now Prism. The winning technology will be the application that makes it easy to use and allows a novice to create their own widget much like Dreamweaver changed the landscape of web creation, with its introduction of “what you see if what you get” application format.
The web is being set free infront of us and the web is now changing into something much like an evolving organism
Into week 3 actually, I’ve been reading a few online blogs and articles and it seems like much of what Tim Berners-Lee (brought you such products as the WWW) promised concerning the semantic web has been in the works for a long time and has even failed a few times. Kind of disconcerting, no?
It seems like many people are stuck in the, “Let’s place content into its proper context before creating applications for it”, mentality. I’m starting to think that this semantic web idea is loosing steam. :-/
First off I’m not saying that I’m dumping the semantic web, no. I’ve seen some pretty cool applications using RDF that catalog information for the US concerning terrorist and their ties to other existing resources on file. (Profiles in Terror). What I’m having trouble with is how and why would an agent want to use an RDF formatted document when we can just write up custom apps to look at specific documents to get such data. Also, why cant we just use a combination of a database storage unit and a web service to promote sharing of our data? I don’t get it.
Here’s an example. The application I was looking over which was created by a Semantic web researcher, formatted mock data concerning terrorist their connections between factions, family ties, events, and other essential items a human agent might need to find/form connections between data. Since this was a semantic web application I’m assuming that all data was not centrally located, which means that the data came from different sources. Hereâ€™s my issue with such an approach, why not create a web service for each department that allows outside sources to query their data? Call it getTerroristByName(‘Name of the terrorist here’).
This would be a typical use case; Department “A” calls up the web service from Department “B”. Department “A” passes it the name of the terrorist and Department’s “B” web service would return all the data they contain with that specific string value. This approach would then eliminate the need for an RDF/OWL layer of complexity.
Iâ€™m back to square one. I donâ€™t know what I want to do for a project. The semantic web looks good but boring, Machine Vision seems pretty awesome but wont allow me to find a good long term career path since I have most of my career built on top of 10 year of web expertise. Data-Mining looks promising as well though since I can apply my A.I. skills and DB skills to good use. And finally do something in the Ruby or PHP field.
Iâ€™ve compiled a list of pros and cons to further my attempt to a solution on what to focus on. Here they go..
1. Semantic Web Pro:
A. Fairly new technology compared to other fields.
B. Involves AI and the web.
C. Possibly the wave of the future
(like I havenâ€™t heard that before..lol)
2. Semantic Web Con:
A. Looks pretty stupid.
B. Glorified XML, don’t see why we can just use XML.
C. How can I make money off this???
1. Machine Vision Pro
A. Solid research field.
B. Very challenging from what Iâ€™ve seen so far.
C. Possibly write a QuickCam API for Ruby?
2. Machine Vision Con:
A. How will this make a name for me?
B. How will this move me up in the web fields? It
1. Data-Mining Pro:
A. Enjoy using the machine learning algorithms used in
CS 461 to display data.
B. Looks like a lot of open areas to improve on.
C. Deals with the web and web technologies.
D. Possibly do a comparison between AI algorithms.
2. Data-Mining Cons:
A. Donâ€™t see myself getting into DBA
B. In the long run wont it be boring?
1. PHP/Ruby Project Pro:
A. Get my name out there for developing X.
B. Allow me to move up in my career.
C. Help out community with new tools.
2. PHP/Ruby Project Cons:
A. 10 years isnâ€™t that enough?
I want to create something that will impact humanity not another lame ass project written by another lame ass grad student.
The quest continues!