Re: A bit of bomb throwing....

From: Zack Rosen <>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 16:56:07 -0800

> I think it's a tired argument that, while it has some merit,
> doesn't really apply to this group. I think PB and related
> technologies (like Solvent) are refreshingly practical
> implementations of semantic web technologies.

I'd consider these projects very interesting client side hacks, not
full semantic web implementations. While they are probably the most
relevant technologies to come out semantic web research they do
little more than "give you a taste of what the Semantic Web has to

> Looking more broadly, I do think -- and I've said this before --
> that it's striking to me that RDF tools aren't more immediately
> useful in a kind of Ruby on Rails way, where it's obvious and clear
> (in part through tutorials and such) how to implement practical
> solutions. I'd like to build a bibliographic database, and I'd
> prefer to do it with an RDF store, but at a certain point it just
> seems easier to pick up something like Rails and hassle with SQL.

This is exactly what I'm talking about ... but i would even go
further. Why give somebody a tutorial on how to develop a solution
when you could just give them a module to install that implements a
solution for them?

> I'm not a "researcher", BTW, nor even a professional developer, and
> I'm not religious about this stuff. That said, I've recently joined
> the OASIS OpenDocument TC, and my goal is to make sure they follow
> through with a good proposal on adding RDF metadata support to the
> file format because I think it's the best solution. One small
> contribution hopefully.
> So what's your contribution going to be?

My day job is building technology and business infrastructure to
support non profit and grassroots communities (see: We've been waiting for the past three years for
the costs of implementing semantic technologies to drop to level
where it becomes realistic to include and support within our user
base. We've been looking for a way to collaborate with semantic web
researchers. Nothing has budged. Research institutions continue to
needlessly plough money into projects in closed environments instead
of meeting users and developers with real world use cases where they
are. I appreciate the fact that there are a number of very
passionate volunteer contributors such as yourself contributing to
the semantic web effort, and It is certainly not in vain. My issue
is mostly with the implementation strategy the research institutions
are pursuing . They are the ones providing the support for the
majority of work being done on the semantic web but they are not
approaching the problem effectively.

Received on Sat Jan 14 2006 - 00:55:57 EST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Thu Aug 09 2012 - 16:39:18 EDT