Semantic Web Reportage

San Francisco Chronicle is reporting on TimBL’s speech to NSF. The article makes a few implications which I think are misleading but common. First, the title “could improve web searches”really misses the point. You could have said the same about the original WWW, and one imagines a 1992 San Francisco Chronicle article headline heralding “CERN researcher aims to improve scientific publication searches”. The second gripe I have is with their gratuitous quote from a token nabob saying “nobody will add the markup to their web pages”, which completely misses the point. Semantic Web isn’t about adding META tags to your HTML pages; such arguments are ignorant straw men.

But there were some nice things in the article. Tim made the point that “web services” are about performing remote operations. When viewed in high contrast, “web services” build a web of interconnected verbs, while “semantic web” builds a web of interconnected nouns. It was encouraging to see a journalist relaying the message that the two worlds will be complimentary, rather than succumb to the typical Zoroastrian storyline.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *