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The Internet

RDF and OWL Are W3C Recommendations 170

J1 writes "The World Wide Web Consortium today released the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and the OWL Web Ontology Language (OWL) as W3C Recommendations. RDF is used to represent information and to exchange knowledge in the Web. OWL is used to publish and share sets of terms called ontologies, supporting advanced Web search, software agents and knowledge management. Read the press release for the full list of twelve documents, read the testimonials, and visit the Semantic Web home page."
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RDF and OWL Are W3C Recommendations

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  • by U5eR ( 751121 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @12:48PM (#8239595)
    ...you might be interested in a new project hosting site which was just opened - SemWebCentral [semwebcentral.org]. It already hosts several DAML tools, including ObjectViewer [semwebcentral.org], the beginnings of an OWL plugin for Eclipse [semwebcentral.org], and various others [semwebcentral.org].
    • The w3c [w3c.org] also has a list of projects [w3.org] that use RDF. Some of them seem a bit academic, but one that looks particularly cool is eventSherpa [eventsherpa.com] - a semantic calendaring application that lets you publish and subscribe to RDF calendars. The FOAF project [foaf-project.org] has also been gaining steam as Typepad [typepad.com] and others join the movement.
    • All these tools, and so far only one application which looks useful -- web annotations -- which probably could have been done without RDF just as easily.

      Other metadata schemes which should have been suited to RDF such as RSS, ended up moving away from it after everybody realised how hard it was to use, and how verbose the code ended up when trying to write the XML representation.

  • This is good news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by byolinux ( 535260 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @12:49PM (#8239618) Journal
    Semantic Web is a interesting progression. Maybe hopefully more sites will start to use better markup on their websites now. A lot of W3C standards seem overlooked by some pretty big sites.

    Surely it's about time for Slashdot to go XHTML+CSS?
    • by SandHawk ( 15347 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @12:52PM (#8239664) Homepage
      While I'm all for better markup, there's quite a jump from proper use of "semantic markup" in HTML to RDF. RDF is quite another language.
    • Re:This is good news (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @12:53PM (#8239674)
      Surely it's about time for Slashdot to go XHTML+CSS?

      I'd be thrilled if they even just went to valid HTML. Then we could move to a nice HTML 4.01 transitional with CSS. Heck, they still haven't replaced their .gifs with 8-bit .pngs which would save them a chunk bandwidth (it all adds up!).
      • And most of the work is already done [alistapart.com]. What are they waiting for?
        • Re:This is good news (Score:3, Informative)

          by Trejkaz ( 615352 )

          I know, the fact that somebody already did all the work for them makes their lack of progress even more inexcusable.

          About the only hard thing about the whole exercise (other than finding a way to run Internet Explorer to test it for the various bugs in its CSS implementation) is validating or correcting user comments to make sure they will be valid markup once inserted in the main page. This isn't rocket science, I think tools like xmllint do this for free.

          Even XHTML 1.1 isn't that hard to comply with,

          • Even XHTML 1.1 isn't that hard to comply with

            You need to deviate from spec. to get Internet Explorer to even attempt to render it. If you serve it as application/xhtml+xml as per spec., Internet Explorer simply prompts you to save the file rather than rendering it.

            • That's trivial to fix. Just use a filter which changes the content type to text/html if the browser doesn't accept application/xhtml+xml. I'm sure that's considered perfectly acceptable. If you want to go the next leg and make it validate both ways, make the filter transform it back to HTML 4.0 via XSL.
    • am i the only person who thought initially that the site referenced was a misspelled symantec?

      ed
    • Re:This is good news (Score:3, Informative)

      by fredrikj ( 629833 )
      Surely it's about time for Slashdot to go XHTML+CSS?

      Yes, as previously discussed here [slashdot.org].
    • by jilles ( 20976 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:22PM (#8239980) Homepage
      > A lot of W3C standards seem overlooked by some pretty big sites.

      That is because there are a lot of very complex standards with little or no toolsupport. Most of the implementations of the major w3c standards are incomplete and/or inconsistent with the specification.

      As a content provider (i.e. a website maintainer) there is no point in producing stuff that the majority of the visitors cannot display. Basically anything beyond xhtml1.0 and a subset of CSS1 & 2 w3c standards compliant documents are totally pointless if the intention is that anyone can access them.

      BTW. I agree that slashdot is long overdue in supporting standards. Sites like wired.com and espn.com show that it is possible to save bandwidth (considering that /. partially depends on donations/subscriptions they owe it to their paying readers not to waste pennies on that) and deliver content in a standards compatible way.
    • Re:This is good news (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      For a long time, slashdot did not allow the w3c validator to check the HTML that slashcode generates to be validated. For more information, read here [slashdot.org]. These days, it does allow the validator's use, but it is kind of a mess [w3.org].

      Slashdot is unlikely to follow w3c standards as it does not believe in them.

    • by jdh-22 ( 636684 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:27PM (#8240033)
      I totally agree. It wasn't too long ago that an article on A List Apart [alistapart.com] that described what Slashdot could to redesign it with web standards [alistapart.com] Not only would it make Slashdot comply with web standards, it would save them 3-14gb of bandwidth a day!

    • Surely it's about time for Slashdot to go XHTML+CSS?

      I sure hope not.

      XHTML sent as text/xml is unsupported [w3.org] by 95% of the browser market. Sending XHTML as text/html works in many cases, but is an even worse idea [hixie.ch] because agents that XHTML as HTML wind up interpreting something that is neither correct XHTML or HTML.

      On the other hand, there's little wrong with HTML 4.01.
  • The semantic web... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by schon ( 31600 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @12:49PM (#8239622)
    When I first read about "the semantic web", my first thoughts were "how the hell is this useful?"

    About a year later, I noticed that Clay Shirkey [shirky.com] had written an interesting article on the Semantic Web...

    It's a bit of a long read, but it does sum up the issues with it quite handily.
    • by SandHawk ( 15347 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @12:57PM (#8239719) Homepage
      Shirky's peice on the Semantic Web is far below his normal quality. It's poorly researched and poorly considered. (Speaking as someone misquoted in the article...)

      For good responses see Peter Van Dijck [poorbuthappy.com] or Paul Ford [ftrain.com].
      • by schon ( 31600 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:15PM (#8239917)
        It's poorly researched and poorly considered. (Speaking as someone misquoted in the article...)

        Perhaps you could clarify then - I'd be interested in your feedback (specifically where you were misquoted), so I can go and re-read the article with your quotes in context.

        For good responses see Peter Van Dijck or Paul Ford.

        I consider neither of these to be "good" responses.

        I was unable to get through the first, as it was incredibly difficult to read with all those pictures and quotes interrupting the text flow.

        I stopped reading the second when I saw the following:

        'Shirky defines the Semantic Web as "a machine for creating syllogisms." This is an over-simplification. The Semantic Web cannot "create", any more than the current Web can create.'

        This obvious straw-man setup comes immediately after the author decries Shirkey's article as being full of them. (Note that Shirkey doesn't say "the semantic web will create syllogisms", he says that it's a machine for doing so.)
        • by SandHawk ( 15347 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:32PM (#8240084) Homepage
          Okay, I thought those were relatively pleasant reads, which can be a plus. (And I wanted to say something fast, before slashdot buried any response I might make...)

          My actual response at the time is brief and chatty [w3.org]. The response from Dan Brickley [dannyayers.com] is also short and sweet. Neither of us felt it was worth the time to reply point-by-point.

          The "misquoting" is to suggest that my "how you buy a book on the Semantic Web" sketch should possibly cause Jeff Bezos to lose sleep. I was trying to explain an experimental protocol in a way I hoped my grandmother could understand (seriously!) and Shirky thinks I'm sketching out Amazon's doom? I don't expect the Semantic Web to doom anyone but folks who want to keep data exchange laborious.
          • by schon ( 31600 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:59PM (#8240397)
            My actual response at the time is brief and chatty. The response from Dan Brickley is also short and sweet.

            Thanks, I find both of these much better than the two you gave - you're both pretty succinct.

            One issue I have with Brickley's response is his criticism of Shirkey's alternative that we 'do nothing'.. he seems to have fallen inot the trap of 'we should to do something, this is something, therefore we should do this' (if you'll pardon the syllogism. :o)

            Sometimes it is better to do nothing than to do the wrong thing; even if you don't see anything better, once that something better does come along, it is often difficult to undo that something once it's become entrenched. (Note, I'm not saying that's what's happening here, this is just a general response to someone who implies that doing nothing is always worse than doing something.)

            The "misquoting" is to suggest that my "how you buy a book on the Semantic Web" sketch should possibly cause Jeff Bezos to lose sleep. I was trying to explain an experimental protocol in a way I hoped my grandmother could understand

            Ahh, I see.. I remember that passage pretty well.. I didn't put too much stock into the 'Jeff Bezos' comment - to me, it sounded like a joke, I don't think he was seriously suggesting that anyone involved in the SW project had any such plans for Amazon (or anyone else.)

            All in all, thanks for your responses, they've been quite informative.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      All Shirkey has accomplished on that page is to prove that a semantic web that contains incorrect information will produce incorrect results.

      The examples Shirkey uses are fundamentally flawed. In each case he uses a flawed set of axioms to produce a flawed result and decides that the TECHNIQUE is at fault. That's utterly rediculous. Using his example of himself and Boston:

      - The creator of shirky.com lives in Brooklyn
      - People who live in Brooklyn speak with a Brooklyn accent

      He comes up with the logical co
      • by schon ( 31600 )
        All Shirkey has accomplished on that page is to prove that a semantic web that contains incorrect information will produce incorrect results.

        I disagree. While his examples do show that (my initial assessment was on par with yours) he does address this issue.

        In each case he uses a flawed set of axioms to produce a flawed result and decides that the TECHNIQUE is at fault.

        Not quite - in each case he uses a flawed set of axioms, then expands on them to show that the world is not a black-and-white place,
        • Not true. You example ("Some people who live in Brooklyn speak with a Brooklyn accent") is an accurate claim, but you admit that no conclusion (accurate or otherwise) can be drawn from it. That is the danger of exclusively using this type of deductive logic.

          Wow, you're missing the obvious. How about this:

          "Clay Sharkey might speak with a Brooklyn accent."

          Not quite - in each case he uses a flawed set of axioms, then expands on them to show that the world is not a black-and-white place, which then shows
        • by SandHawk ( 15347 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @03:41PM (#8241526) Homepage
          This connects with his mistaken point that the Semantic Web is based on some single universal ontology. This is of course the opposite of what RDF is about -- it's about allowing lots of ontologies to be used side by side.

          So we don't model the real world perfectly, we model it well enough for some set of applications in some ontology. Every database designer, nearly every programmer does this all the time. We model it well enough and then the computers... do what computers do.

          RDF is nothing new here. What's new is establishing a fairly wide and precise consensus around a language for communicating data about arbitrary things.
    • There are some interesting threads in discussing Shirkey to be found over at W3C:
      http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf- intere st/2003Nov/0047.html
      or search for Shirkey in the archive
      http://www.w3.org/Search/Mail/Public/sear ch
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The developers and end users will always ultimately determine what is most popular.
    • Thw w3c produces recommendations. OWL and RDF are recommendations. Yes, eventually users and developers will decide whether they like them as is, want to ignore them, or want to change them. But there are many tasks where people have to discuss the options and suggest one. There are a near infinite number of formats one could use for a web ontology language. Unless someone publically suggests "why don't we agree on this one?" it takes a very long time for a standard to emerge on this kind of thing.
  • ummmmm, ok? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @12:50PM (#8239624)

    And the only browser to use the new recommendations
    correctly is..... Phoni... Firebi... FireFox!
    • Does Firefox even have any useful RDF applications in it? I know Amaya does because it has the built-in web annotation engine, but I can't see anything in Firefox which might be RDF in nature.

      Unless of course, that's how it stores its bookmarks.

  • W3C? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by product byproduct ( 628318 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @12:52PM (#8239658)
    You mean the people who force us to put one ALT attribute for each IMG tag, but have 8 ALT="" on their own web page?

    Who really cares about their recommendations?
    • Re:W3C? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by seriv ( 698799 )
      Some standards are a good thing, plus you don't have to follow them. I am one of those people who validate all my web pages, and I would rather have people be able to read my webpages universally rather then not at all. I read some of the html standards before, and they really care about making the web usable for all.
    • alt="" (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's legal. Sometimes alternate text is inappropriate for text browsers. If I have multiple images that make up my logo, for example, it would be approriate to only give one the logo text, and set the others to "". You need the alt, but you don't need to have it equal text.
      • Yes it's "legal". I didn't claim that the W3C wasn't following their own standard. I claimed that after years of forcing people to come up with alternate text for every image, the W3C now implicitly admits that there is a legitimate need for "no alternate text" in some cases.

        Omitting the ALT attribute when you have nothing to say about the image would be less wasteful and much more elegant than having to write ALT="".
        • I think there's a semantic difference there. If you don't have an alt attribute, you are saying there is no alternative to the image. If you have alt="", you are saying there is an alternative, and that alternative is the empty string.

          That being said, some of the places the W3C have been seen to use alt="" are fairly wrong. For the right arrow graphic, why don't they make the alt attribute '>'? In fact, why don't they make the right arrow graphic render using CSS instead of putting it in the HTML?

    • Re:W3C? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ArmenTanzarian ( 210418 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:00PM (#8239749) Homepage Journal
      ALT tags are for the most part used for screen readers. Unnecessary images, used just to enhance the look of the page are often given alt="" values so that the screen reader will skip the image entirely (ie: read nothing instead of saying "image foo.jpg is here with no alt tag").
  • by airrage ( 514164 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @12:53PM (#8239672) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft has already decided to use the RDF standard in it's XML based reporting solution. The interesting thing with this product is it's being touted as a open-source like product: reports are XML based, no binary required to view them, rdf would be a standard, reports are HTML-viewed, no required viewer. Which is funny that Microsoft is trying to break into the reporting market by being generic to break the hold of the current slew of companies that hold the monopoly there with more proprietary solutions.

    Interesting don't ya think?

    Peace Out.
    • Why...OOOH...How DARE they! Really...Why...

      Yeah, that's interesting.
    • While the language might be open and standards based, my five bucks says that the Evil Empire will still try to keep their power by copyrighting or patenting or somethinging some of the schemas/layouts they use.
    • Microsoft is trying to break into the reporting market by being generic to break the hold of the current slew of companies that hold the monopoly there with more proprietary solutions.

      Or "bait-and-switch-and-embrace-and-extend", as Microsoft calls it in internal communication.

    • It's been reported in other /. articles that on one hand, M$ will use an XML schema for all Word documents. However, the next licensing agreement for Office will stipulate that no one is permitted to reverse-engineer the schema for use in an open source project.

      This makes me think that "security through legally -enforced obscurity" will be the order of the day in Redmond. Imagine if, say, all element names were encrypted, or were even just bloody confusing, e.g. <ioueWOIUKJRE87yjhi> arial </ioue
      • by Cereal Box ( 4286 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:46PM (#8240249)
        There's no need to "hide" the schema. Having a Word XML schema simply means you can validate whether or not something looks like a proper XML Word document. Having the schema DOES NOT mean you can actually do anything meaningful with the Word document. You can write 100% completely valid XML with Base64-encoded mysterious data in between some tags and no one will know what to do with it, schema or no schema. When will you guys learn, Microsoft doesn't need to "patent" an XML file format because having a "human readable" file format doesn't necessarily mean you can do anything with the file in the first place!

        In other words, Microsoft can easily, and without patents, stick a proprietary file format in an "open format" XML document. Don't assume that they're always going to do some evil shit just because they're Microsoft. In the case of XML, they don't have to! Obfuscation is allowed by the standard!
    • Just a nit-pick, but their product is not "open-source like", it just based on open standards. The first has to do with the availability of the source code to the program, the second has to do with interoperability of the files the user creates between different products. Proprietary software and file formats both have the downside that they create vender lock-in.

      I just don't want all the fresh blood that hear about free software for the first time slashdot to be too misinformed, although since they are re
  • About RDF (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by Masa ( 74401 )
    This is off-topic, but can someone explain, why RDF uses namespaces? Isn't it a bit overkill?
    • Re:About RDF (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SandHawk ( 15347 )
      RDF/XML uses XML namespaces as a somewhat convenient way to write URIs (which are normally quite long).

      RDF (in the abstract) doesn't use namespaces, it just uses URIs (aka URLs). (The concept of namespaces is still there in effect, as a collection of related names, in an ontology -- but that's quite different from the formalism of XML Namespaces.)
    • I assume you are asking why rdf uses full uri's to denote items instead of just local ones. (As the reply above me points out rdf doesn't really use namespaces, it's just that writing full uri's is a nuisance, and namespaces are a way of abreviating them.) The idea is to let documents talk about items declared in other files. If in my foaf file I declare "http://sarn.org/foaf.rdf#Amy" is a person, someone else can assert that that same Amy is also a college student. Without these global names you would n
  • Review vocabulary (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Deraj DeZine ( 726641 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @12:57PM (#8239723)
    I've been looking for some sort of RDF review vocabulary so that I can incorporate product reviews into RSS feeds (but also store them seperately in a complete archive or something). With some sort of review aggregator/grabber, it seems like this would be simple to find out if your friends (as opposed to zealots) liked/disliked a product. The best-looking review vocabulary I've found is the Ideagraph one [ideagraph.net]. Any tools that support reviews with such a format? Or any repositories for RDF reviews? Other formats?
    • Why store them separately?

      Anyway -- sounds like an excellent project. I'm not aware of anyone doing it quite yet.....
      • I suggested storing them serparately because someone might want to download an archive of just the reviews that are no longer in the (truncated) RSS feed. If they want the reviews, why would they need the headlines?

        This led to my question of whether a large repository of RDF reviews could be created and have reviews aggregated there automatically by polling RSS feeds. Of course, there could be a problem with this setup. All the large feed aggregators got tired of wasting bandwidth re-downloading eleventy b
  • RDF Validator (Score:4, Informative)

    by Iscariot_ ( 166362 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @12:58PM (#8239735)
    RDF is actually quite usefull and is used when making extensions for FireFox/Mozilla among other things. Be sure to check out the RDF validator here [w3.org] as it can save you time.

    It will be very interesting to see how RDF/XUL stands up against XAML [microsoft.com].
    • RDF is actually quite usefull and is used when making extensions for FireFox/Mozilla among other things.

      Did they ever fix the performance problems with RDF in Mozilla? I can remember waiting for 12 seconds at 100% CPU for a dialogue box to come up because the downloader was extracting information from 300 records in the previously-downloaded files list. BTW, why were they using this sort of thing to store structured information anyway?
      • Did they ever fix the performance problems with RDF in Mozilla?

        There were problems with downloading in gerneral, so it may be an unrelated issue.

        why were they using this sort of thing to store structured information anyway?

        They use it for backend stuff because it makes it easier to write cross-platform code.
    • Re:RDF Validator (Score:3, Informative)

      by tcopeland ( 32225 ) *
      There's also an RDF graph browser here [semwebcentral.org]. Open source, too.
  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:00PM (#8239757)
    Microsoft has released two new Microsoft Standards(tm) called MSRDF and MSOWL.

    Speculation that these two new standards are broken versions of w3c's recent RDF and OWL releases was further confirmed when leaked documents with "w3c" blacked out in pen, the Microsoft logo added to the top with crayon and a few numbers blocked out with white out written back in with biro, came to light.

    Criticism of Microsoft's horrifically buggy and insecure browser Internet Exploder(tm) was shot down by Steve "Developers(tm)" Ballmer who said that features were much more important than security. "People want to browse the web with help from our new Browser Assistant(tm) to assist them. We think an animated cartoon image of an owl will reassure our customers."

    When another reporter pointed out that OWL had little or nothing to do with ornithology, cartoon, animated or otherwise, Steve looked a little uncomfortable and declined to answer any more questions.

    Shouting "Developers Developers Developers!" loudly, and squirting sweat everywhere in what can only be assumed is a defence mechanism similar to an octopus ot squid, he beat a hasty retreat into a waiting helicopter.

    The helicopter is later reported to have crashed. It was rebooted and a patch applied. The patch restored flying ability, but the doors no longer work. A patch is promised for the doors tomorrow.

    (-1 offtopic) (+1 recovering from car crash, cut me some slack)
  • Don't get me wrong, I totally believe in the idea of open standards and interoperable, browser-neutral web sites. However, it seems to me that nowadays the W3C is more interested in pushing thier political agenda and ideas than they are in codifying and standardizing widely used technology.

    Political agendas aside, a standards body has to recognize what technologies and extensions are actually being used "in the wild" and incorporate them into the standard. Whether you like M$ or not, you have to recogni

    • RDF and OWL don't necessarily have anything to do with the browser. They're aimed more at new Semantic Web tools. Yes, they have uses within some browsers (I believe Mozilla uses RDF), but your argument is similar to saying that RSS won't ever catch on because IE doesn't support it.
    • Maybe you should look at the standards. These aren't common end-user things like XHTML or CSS, where Microsoft's reluctance to play along dooms the standards to meaninglessness. Instead, they are two esoteric standards which would be handled by a wide range of specialised XML tools, not Grandma's web browser.

    • Don't get me wrong, I totally believe in the idea of open standards and interoperable, browser-neutral web sites.
      Yes, well there's your problem. These aren't specs for web browsers.

      Yes, they're available via http and include many web technologies but really these are about metadata and relationship information, not presentation. There's more to "The Web" then endless HTML pages, and that other space is where these are aimed at. Material using these newly set standards can be linked and searched and eventually massaged for presentation but the raw stuff isn't intended for your traditional web browser to use itself.

      However, it seems to me that nowadays the W3C is more interested in pushing their political agenda and ideas than they are in codifying and standardizing widely used technology.
      Y'know, thats a really interesting opinion, but it would be more so if you were to tie it to the topic at hand. Yes these are quickly evolving technologies and yes, what's out in the field doesn't always match what's in the standards process. However when you talk to the folks doing this stuff IRL most will tell you they're trailblazing out of need and are quite enthusiastic about a standard eventually happening they can use. Indeed many of them are actively involved in the standard-setting process and applying the lessons they've learned.

      Sometimes the W3C does seem out in left field: It's got any number of way-far-ahead things cooking, as well as any number of other passed-by ones still stumbling along. It's hard to predict when starting up a committee what will be needed when they're done, nor always how it will end up being used, or if it will all be quickly irrelevant. On the other hand they're right on target much of the time, and if occasionally laggard they're as often prescient.

      But back to the immediate topic both these specs being set will be welcomed in many circles. Neither appears perfect but both seem quite good, immediately usable, and without great conflict to past practice.

  • RDF Crawlers (Score:5, Informative)

    by aharth ( 412459 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:02PM (#8239782) Homepage
    A lot of RDF out there is in FOAF and RSS 1.0 vocabularies. Increasingly, people use <rdfs:seeAlso> to link RDF files, which makes it possible to have RDF crawlers ("scutters") harvest RDF from the web. I have an RDF aggregator service [semanticweb.org] running that crawls the semantic web. There's a lot of useless broken RDF out there, so if you put RDF on your web site please use W3C's RDF Validator [w3.org] to check for valid RDF.
  • The Semantic Web is an extension of the current web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation." -- Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler, Ora Lassila, The Semantic Web, Scientific American, May 2001

    from http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/, emphasis mine

    Hmm, ... I must have missed that all the fuzziness was taken out of knowledge-processing (and human problem solving).

    CC.
    • The phrase "well-defined meaning" is supposed to convey to experts that these languages are formal languages (with formal syntax defined by grammars and formal semantics described using model theory), while staying within the general vocabulary appropriate for a press release or Scientific American.

      I'm not thrilled with the phrase, myself.

      My offering: The Semantic Web is the part of the Web where information is conveyed not in natural language or proprietary and legacy formats, but in languages designed s
  • OWL (Score:5, Funny)

    by bongoras ( 632709 ) * on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:06PM (#8239812) Homepage
    Everyone knows that OWL stands for "Ordinary Wizarding Level." Come on, MIT, get with the program.
  • According to their site, RDF has been around since 1997. Why did it take six years to work out the details?
  • Oh I see... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Pope Raymond Lama ( 57277 ) <gwidion@NoSpAm.mpc.com.br> on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:06PM (#8239821) Homepage
    It is a master plan to turn web site creation in a thing so complicated that Indians will no longer be able to catch up with the neccessary standards.

    So, in 2.5 centuries, when Governamental Mandatory Internet Explorer Browser V. 7.5 do implement all of these (stolen from GPLed code, of course), all those jobs will be re-insourcered into the USA.
  • He he he... (Score:3, Funny)

    by JoeLinux ( 20366 ) <.joelinux. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:08PM (#8239836) Homepage
    When I saw RDF, the first thing I thought of was, "The world wide web is going to use the Robotech Defense Force? Wow...that's a way of enforcing standards."

    Ok, back into my hovel I go,

    Joe
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The current RDF spec sucks and OWL is barely acceptable. the worse part about RDF is it has conflicting protocols for existing ones that people already support. Take RDF schema for example. Very few people outside of academia support it. RDF schema blows and isn't as flexible as Schema. Schema isn't perfect either, but it is atleast better than RDF Schema. RDF-rules blow chunks and doesn't even support horn logic. If you read the RDF-rules mailing list, you'll see most of the people are demanding horn logic
  • Markup (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ka9dgx ( 72702 ) * on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:32PM (#8240082) Homepage Journal
    When are we going to get real markup? A lot of this stuff just falls out of an effort to get a real, working markup language, instead of this HTML related crap we've been shoveling around for years.

    If the markup is part of the content, it's not really pure content, or good markup. Markup tags should reference the content, not be embedded in it.

    The separate Structure, Content and Markup layers should all be parsable without knowledge of the others.

    --Mike--

  • My handy dictionary defines Ontology as:

    1 : a branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature and relations of being
    2 : a particular theory about the nature of being or the kinds of existents.

    So, WTF does that mean and what does it have to do with information?
    • by SandHawk ( 15347 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @01:46PM (#8240253) Homepage
      The OWL sense of "ontology" is the second sense, if you read "theory" in the formal (computer science/mathematical logic) sense.

      That is, an OWL ontology tells readers (especially computers) what kinds of things exist and what kinds of relationships they can have to each other.

      Some of the OWL specs are actually pretty readable. Try starting with the OWL Overview [w3.org]. (Others, like OWL Semantics, are... more challenging.)
    • An Ontology is supposed to tell you what things are (what things there are) and how those things are related.

      OWL and RDF schemas are ontologies in the philosophical sense in that they define a set of entities and relations which allow you to make meaningful inferences from assertions framed in terms defined by the ontologies in question. An Ontology defines the categories and relations that make up a world.

      Ontologies are not themselves information (except in the trivial sense) but rather structures which
  • Did anyone else think for a fraction of a second that RDF referred to Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field (RDF)? Scary... Yes offtopic i guess...sorry :-)
  • Great, yet another computer acronym with more than one meaning [tenermerx.com].
  • ...the OWL Web Ontology Language...

    Did anyone else misread that as OWL Web Ornothology Language?
    • No, but I work for a company called Ontology Works, and half the people who hear that ask what kind of cancer we treat.

      Especially since our primary office is in a building with many doctor's offices.
  • Is someone dylexic or just trying to be cute? Wouldn't OWL be Ontology Web Language?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      See the OWL Faq [w3.org]
      It says: Q. What does the acronym "OWL" stand for?
      A. Actually, OWL is not a real acronym. The language started out as the "Web Ontology Language" but the Working Group disliked the acronym "WOL." We decided to call it OWL. The Working Group became more comfortable with this decision when one of the members pointed out the following justification for this decision from the noted ontologist A.A. Milne who, in his influential book "Winnie the Pooh" stated of the wise character OWL:
      "He c
    • It's because the the Web Ontology Language Working Group disliked the acronym "WOL" and decided to call it OWL.

      Also, consider the A. A. Milne character Owl, who "could spell his own name WOL, and he could spell Tuesday so that you knew it wasn't Wednesday, and he could read quite comfortably when you weren't looking over his shoulder saying "Well?" all the time...".

"I've finally learned what `upward compatible' means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes." -- Dennie van Tassel

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