The Incomplete Web

By Michael Hausenblas
August 5, 2008 | Comments: 9

So I'm claiming here that the Web we have today is incomplete. How comes? Imagine you have a wonderful programming language which is object-oriented, nicely to read, produces beautiful documentation, etc. but does not support, say, I/O operations. Would you be able to use it? At least for a number of real-world problems this programming language would not be regarded to be of practical value, but rather to be incomplete.

This is basically the point I'm trying to make here regarding the Web x.0, nowadays. Quite a long time the Web of Data (The-Thing-Formerly-Known-As-The-Semantic-Web) has been viewed as a kind of addition to the Web of Documents, that is the Web intended to be consumed primarily by humans. Now, take a second and think of our wonderful programming language, described earlier (this is the current Web).

Indeed, the Web of Data is not an extension of the Web, but rather the equation

"Web of Documents" + "Web of Data" = "The Web"

holds.

There is a bunch of applications that is close to impossible to realise without an explicit representation of the data out there: starting with portability of user data between social media platforms over smart tagging to data integration.

So, the good news is that the Web is not incomplete anymore. The challenge, however, remains to understand this and start using it properly.


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9 Comments

Can't agree more! But since when is the community starting to use "Web of Data" officially instead of Semantic Web. The term "web of data" has been out there for a while, but has it replaced the "semantic web" term?

Thanks Juan! Honestly, I can't claim that 'the community' replaced the term. I guess in the official W3C terminology it is still the "Semantic Web" but looking at recent discussions [1], publications, and events [2], the term 'Web of Data' seems to be more appropriate to use, IMHO ;)


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/semantic-web/2008Jul/0192.html
[2] http://events.linkeddata.org/iswc2008tutorial/

In addition to that, the community has been calling it a Web of Documents and now a Web of Data. In the TED video, Kevin Kelly calls it "The One" (http://juansequeda.blogspot.com/2008/08/predicting-next-5000-days-of-web-ted.html) . This is also a nice post, where the author calls it the Graph Web (http://whydoeseverythingsuck.com/2008/06/memo-to-semantic-web-drop-semantic-and.html)
At the end, it just becomes a marketing name, something that won't raise a red flag (because Semantic Web does do that right now :(..)

In addition to that, the community has been calling it a Web of Documents and now a Web of Data. In the TED video, Kevin Kelly calls it "The One" (http://juansequeda.blogspot.com/2008/08/predicting-next-5000-days-of-web-ted.html) . This is also a nice post, where the author calls it the Graph Web (http://whydoeseverythingsuck.com/2008/06/memo-to-semantic-web-drop-semantic-and.html)
At the end, it just becomes a marketing name, something that won't raise a red flag (because Semantic Web does do that right now :(..)

Hey guys,

This is an interesting topic, which also came up in an interview with Semantic Web Company [1].

I don't think it's a case of replacing the label "Semantic Web" with "Web of Data", but more about using terms that speak to different people in different contexts. To other SemWeb people (of whatever flavour) I generally talk about the Semantic Web, but to those who don't come from this stable the terms "Linked Data" and "Web of Data" seem to better communicate the underlying ideas.

[1] http://www.semantic-web.at/1.36.resource.235.x22-the-web-must-be-a-web-not-a-series-of-isolated-data-islands-x22.htm

I don't disagree with Dr.Tom, but would add that SemWeb people are still a pretty small minority of (Web) programmers at large. I reckon Michael's I/O analogy is a beauty in the wider context.

Micheal,

Nice commentary.

Tom: Yes, "horses for courses" remains the fundamental approach to effective communications when the audience is heterogeneous.

I use the phrase: "Linked Data Web" to express the fact that the "Data Web" is a "Web of Linked Data" :-)

Michael, good points. What you are describing is what I have been referring to as the Modular Innovation trend for some time. Check out...

For an intro...
http://tpgblog.com/2007/12/06/modular-innovation-101/

For a discussion of quantification of this emerging trend...
http://tpgblog.com/2008/07/02/quick-mi-quick-heuristics-for-modular-innovation/

Looking forward to your thoughts (as well as other readers).

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy
http://tpgblog.com

That’s really wow I say because this would be a source of getting inspiration and that is all what is required to start the things, thank you.

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