Mailing List Archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [tlug] Effect of AI and data processing rift on the Semantic Web

Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
Edward Middleton writes:

> Using your perception of the situation to avoid investigating it. If > this is not the case could you explain specifically what you see as > being OSI-ized.

RDF, for example, is a steaming pile of compost.  Oh, it will work
(and obviously does) as a machine-readable language, but like many
applications of XML it's butt-ugly and internally inconsistent (eg,
the text-based "^^" convention for adding type information to values).
The stuff built on top of it (OWL, FOAF) is just as bad AFAICS.

I mean, the immediate response of any sane person reading the RDF
Primer provided by the W3C is going to be "God, no!  Not unless my job
depends on it, and even then I'll take a 20% pay cut to avoid it."

This matters, because it's *people*, not *machines*, that for the
foreseeable future are going to be making connections between FOAF and
the Dublin Core, for one example. Making them work in RDF is just not
a good way to get them excited.

HTML hahahhahah! but seriously, it isn't necessary to write RDF for most applications. The extensive use of URI's as identifiers can be irritatingly verbose but hardly a killer. You could even get away without righting a line of RDF to generate an FOAF file[1]

> The views you have expressed seems to be regularly espoused on the > semantic-web mailing list but it seems to be almost universally by > people without even a layman's understanding of knowledge > representation[1] and computer reasoning[2].

Argumentum ad hominem.

ha, "conceived by a bunch of philosophers who want it to reflect their theories."

The point is that if you don't have some background understanding of knowledge representation and computer reasoning then you aren't in a position to judge whether it is a pragmatic approach or the musings of academics.

Of course those with the specialities you mention will consider the
semantic web activity meaningful.  It's not an interesting piece of

I would imagine they find it frustrating that the semantic web has become *the next big thing* and so they are inundated by WEB 2 developers with no computer science background.

But I have to wonder if these specialists really know what they are
doing, even. Take the RDF "^^" convention. RDF is clearly a model of
category theory, since it concerns graphs and composability of arcs
between typed sets. But the "^^" makes it impossible to use category
theory to analyze RDF on its own terms. Instead, you need to
translate RDF as standardized by the W3C into RDF-- which instead of
using "^^" uses more precision in the labels (ie, the value itself
knows what its type is).

Well they state[2] that RDF is based on Model Theory. But others have suggested application of category theory might be useful in solving problem due to the distributed nature of the web[3].

> > For heaven's sake, Berners-Lee invented the semantic web in 1994!
> > In some areas, "web ontologies" are taking hold, such as the
> > Dublin Core and RSS feeds. But until they start to connect up in
> > useful ways, there is no "the" semantic web. That's what makes
> > the World Wide Web such a wonderfully concrete thing: the
> > fundamental facts that the Internet is a singleton and that any
> > URL on the Internet can be accessed from anywhere on the
> > Internet. It's all connected, by construction.
> > Compared to developing the WWW, developing a Semantic Web is a > non-trivial problem. Not because it is difficult to put semantics in > web pages, but because it is difficult to work out what semantics need > to be added to allow AI agents to reason, plan, learn and perform other > useful tasks.

What I'm saying is that trying to work them out from a priori
conceptions is OSI-izing.

Eg, we'd like to connect literary objects (Dublin Core) to authors
(FOAF?) and updates (RSS).

Well you would have to be a bit more specific about the details of your example, but one possiable implementation using DBLP Bibliography Database[4] is given here[5]. Looking at the process using a recursive query approach you could load a users FOAF file and see that they were associated with the DBLP uri

<foaf:Person rdf:about="/your FOAF URI/">
   <foaf:name>/your name/</foaf:name>
   <owl:sameAs rdf:resource=""/>

You could use this to formulate a SPARQL query like the following

PREFIX foaf: <>
PREFIX dc: <>
<> foaf:made ?paper
?paper a foaf:Document .
?paper dc:creator <>

Which encoded as a url looks like{}+%0D%0AWHERE+{}

This will return an RDF file containing articles by the author which you could transform to RSS just like any other XML document using XSLT or some other method.

I think that you would agree this is an interesting component of a universal semantic web (if not, try proposing one yourself and we can discuss that one instead).

Not really, a fairly trivial problem thought up by just about every academic associated with the semantic web ;) An interesting problem would be something like[6]

"takes an .. plan that has been manually developed and looks for possible problems that a user may have overlooked, such as inconsistencies or unrealistic use of resources."

or even better automatically develop a plan based on some general possibly vague constraints and allow the user to refine it and investigate alternative scenarios.

> They are basically providing a means to use "what works" in AI to web > problems. Without some sort of interfaces and implementations using > "what works" in AI isn't a *practical solution*.

Practical solution to what? The rosy palm problem of semantic web

* Referring unambiguously to *You* without placing private information about you onto the net.
* Finding the closest pub that sells X beer
* Planning a vacation.

I know how to use Google.  For example, without looking again I can
tell you that ISTR the FOAF page claims FOAF is a "vocabulary", not a
full "ontology".

Well the FOAF specification[1] is authoritive and it says

"This document presents FOAF as a Semantic Web vocabulary or Ontology."

Where in practice is this solution being used? For example, does OpenID use it? Can you give me a similarly important example where FOAF is a solution?

I provided you with an example where FOAF is used with OpenID, you just didn't bother to read it.



Home | Main Index | Thread Index

Home Page Mailing List Linux and Japan TLUG Members Links