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Weaving The "Semantic Web"

The new generation of the World Wide Web (WWW) is for now called the Semantic Web (Big Fractal Tangle). Unlike the known World Wide Web, where informations are presented for human beeings only, the Semantic Web will also provide machine processable informations.

Machine processable informations will one enable to build intelligent services, such as search agents. The Semantic Web will also be essential to the development of Web applications, such as sophisticated e-commerce browsing and searching capabilities.

Examples of such technologies can be already found in usage in a large scale by successfull companies, like for example amazon.com.

The Semantic Web will bring the known Web to its full potential.

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ONE : Weaving Technology For The People

What is the "Semantic Web"?

The core aim of the Semantic Web (see the simplicity of the Semantic Web) is to make Web data easily processible by a computer. This will make the Web a lot more effective for its users by highly increasing effictiviness of tasks that are currently difficult to accomplish. You may think of: finding specialized content, drawing conclusions from data out of different sources.

The Web is a nonforgiving place; create a site that is difficult to handle and nobody will come. Create a technology that is hard to get by, nobody will us it. Still most of the private sites dont even use the <title> tag, which could be seen as metadata too.

Thats about the vision. A Web that machines can understand to make everyones live easier. A need exists for an universal view of data, like email and documents. This is currently hard to get by, because of the fragmentation of our data due to different file formats. Providing integration for those would be an key element.

There is an fundamental exitement in the Semantic Web. Ease of locating information, no more data scattered across multiple devices.

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Technological Background

Besides that the Semantic Web represents a Web full of data, it is intended primarily for humans.

Practical solutions include the use of XSLT to derive RDF from XML sources, the work on topic maps and RDF convergence, the emergence of general-purpose RDF databases and engines, and general and specific GUIs for RDF data. - XML.com

There are already existing examples of how one might start building the foundation of the Semantic Web. But how will we use it?

A question on the Semantic Web might be to ask when the next flight to Leipzig will take of at your local airport. The Semantic Web should be a Web that enables us to do things easily which are better covered by machines.

According to Tim Berners-Lee, the Semantic Web will consist out of many layers:

The Semantic Web is not guaranteed to answer you where the best Porn Site in the universum lies, but it can tell you your next lawyer appointment or how to reach the nearest bakery with fresh and tasty croissants.

Further reading:

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Quotes

  • "I think the Semantic Web is oppressing. It forces people to make the work of machines easier" - Andrius Kulikauskas
  • "The Semantic Web is not a separate Web but an extension of the current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation." - Tim Berners-Lee

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