XML.com: Something Useful This Way Comes [Jun. 09, 2004]: “In other words, development of the Semantic Web requires a lot of work, but there’s been a lot work done. This raises an obvious question: when will all that work pay off?
There are only three ways to answer that question — already, never, or somewhere in between.”

In other words, the semantic web is kinda here and it’s kinda useful. That’s good enough for me.

One thing bothers me though. If it’s the data model of RDF that’s valuable, not the syntax (pretty much everybody hates the RDF-XML syntax), then really, what’s the big deal about? The RDF data model really isn’t that complex. Why do so many people shy away from RDF if it’s really just a useful data model? I suspect it might be because of all the stuff they build around that model, especially the syntax. Couldn’t someone invent RSRDF (Real Simple RDF), implementing the same useful data model (and at the same time maybe explain exactly why it’s so useful), but keeping the tools around it (OWL, syntax, …) much simpler?

0 thoughts on “

  1. I think you are right; explaining *exactly* why it is useful would help. I think people get scared away by all of the talk of first-order logic, AI, and so on — and none of that stuff is really necessary to make RDF be interesting.

    By the same token, the syntax is a bear. There is something called TriX, which is like a “really simple RDF”, and I guess that helps. But I also think familiarity with some simple tools would help. If people try to use an XML parser to parse RDF, it gets tricky, because RDF is a graph and not a tree. Probably 90% of the complaints about sytnax come from people trying to parse using an XML parser instead of an RDF parser. There is a parser for C# called “Drive” that is pretty nice.

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