Now that I’ve blogged a bit about the difficulty of getting into the semantic web vocabulary, let me do my part and post a quick view and a few links to interesting introductory pages. This will also address Pieter Jansegers’s comment to the post that started this discussion.
For the Semweb experts among you: I know you will be tempted to make corrections, or explain the differences between RDF and RDFa, the subtleties of N3, Turtle, and N-Triples as interchange formats, and the limitations of microformats. Feel free to do that in the comments, as long as you don’t expect a reply from me, as indeed this is not the point of this post!
Now, if you’re new to this, let me dive right in. We all know in the industry that the semantic web has a strange name. We’d change it if we could, but so far it’s endured at least the test of time. Just like hippopotamus or floccinaucinihilipilification (which we hope the semantic web will never be subject to…). By the way, anywhere on this blog, you can double-click on any word to get its definition…
“Semantic” stands for “science of meaning”. The goal of the “semweb” effort (semweb is how insiders abbreviate the long name, our secret handshake if you will) is to have machines get the meaning of things. In other words, to have machine understand human concepts and translate them into a machine-readable format for reuse. This way, they can process these concepts as we do (or better) and derive conclusions as we often attempt ourselves. Ultimately, they might even be able to reason like a (very logical) human being, but that’s a lofty goal we generally keep for later stages of the web evolution, such as the intelligent web. (more…)