Commited to the Big S

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Not everyone likes our proposal for the Semantic Wikipedia. That's not a big surprise really. Boris Mann was talking about the advantages of tagging, and some ideas like blessed tags, that sounded very nice, when Jay Fienberg pointed him to the Semantic MediaWiki proposal. Boris answers: "I notice with a shudder however, that the Mediawiki stuff uses a large "S" Semantic, and includes RDF. I admit it, I'm afraid of RDF."

Yes, we do. And we're proud of it. Actually, it's the base for the better half of the possible applications we describe. Jay has some nice answers to it: "I think the MediaWiki folks are just recognizing the connection between their "tags" and the big "S" Semantic Web [you bet!, denny]. There are taxonomies and ontologies behind the popular tagging apps too--folks behind them just aren't recognizing / publicizing this (for a number of reasons, including that tags are often part of a practical application without big "S" Semantic Web goals). [...] I'm not a super huge fan of RDF myself, but I think it's useful to not be afraid of it, because some interesting things will come out of it at some point."

Our idea was to allow the user to use Semantic Web technologies even without really understanding them. No one needs to understand RDF fully, or OWL, to be able to use it. Sure, if she does, well, it surely will help her. Any by the way, RDF really is not complicated at all, it just has a syntax that sucks. So what?

Maybe it's a crude joke of history to start the Semantic Web with syntactic problems...

By the way, does anyone have a spare invitation to GMail for me? I'd really like to check out their service. Thanks, Peter, that was fast.

Originally published on Semantic Nodix

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Peter Herndon
7 September 2005 11:13:00

My pleasure. I've got, evidently, 99 more, BTW...