RE: A bit of bomb throwing....

From: Prokopp, Christian <>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2006 05:44:22 +0800

It sounds like you are fighting windmills. The modern economy works the
way it does (early adopter problems etc.) and the university have
totally different interest than open source communities, companies or
you and me. No one will change that (soon) for good reasons - it is not
perfect but the best we know of.
I agree on the point that it is a pity that semantic web technology is
not used in popular software. I think at least the permanent graph
stores will come and then the whole thing might get a new spin because
it is about penetration and critical mass too. Everyone who has the
desire/need for new technology has the option to develop it or adapt
existing ones (sesame etc.) into their projects. I don't understand why
you did not take your resources and just started an implementation for
drupal or so.


-----Original Message-----
From: Zack Rosen []
Sent: Tuesday, 17 January 2006 4:39 PM
Subject: Re: A bit of bomb throwing....

On Jan 16, 2006, at 10:12 PM, Prokopp, Christian wrote:

> "Not the case. Im advocating that semantic web research be done
> within
> established open-source communities meeting 'real-world' needs of
> partners instead of in isolation as examples."
> SIMILE source is available as BSD license?!

Emphasis on 'within established open-source communities'. This means
not as orphaned piles of open-source code, this means implemented on
widely used stacks of technology.

> "What is the path to industry adoption of semantic web technologies?
> All I see are obstacles: threatened business models (such as SAPs')
> stalling and early adopters (such as SalesForce) opting for the much
> simpler and easier approach of REST API's."
> There is no such thing as a threatened business model that prevents
> development - if the classic models would be so threatened everyone
> would be throwing money at the semantic web to be the first (remember
> the bubble).
> Obviously the simple and easy approach is the best for business at the
> moment - no one can change that - market force is independent.

You have two ends of the spectrum: Established corporations (SAP,
Google, HP, etc.) and you have new VC backed entrepreneurs.

The corporations will spend a bit of research money to fiddle with
semantic web technology as a defensive strategy for when it breaks
and things start to shift but they won't pull the trigger (adopt) the
technology until it is proven. This is for good reason, companies
bear a huge burden and a lot of risk by being the first adopters of
new standards. So all the semantic web gets from these guys is a bit
of a research budget and a pat on the back. What we miss out on is
meaningful adoption or an adequate test bed to prove the technology.

On the other end are the entrepreneurs. These guys would love to
employ semantic web technologies to disrupt the industries and make a
killing. Their are a couple problems with this though....
1) They don't have the money to partner with the Universities doing
the research
2) The semantic web is only useful until people use it and nobody is
using it yet
3) VC's would have to be crazy to invest in a venture banking on
unproven standards with no substantial adoption that are not well
supported by platform technology (LAMP, JSP, .NET)

This leaves the Universities alone to bear the burden of proving
their technology ideas.

> "I think the much more aligned and willing allies of the semantic web
> are the tinkerer's: open-source developers and entrepreneurs. In fact
> it is these people who are currently paving the way for automated
> data-interchange on the web (RSS, microformats, etc)."
> RSS is an extraordinary example - besides that the tinkerer are the
> ones
> paving the way for research and industry after checking out
> millions of
> ideas - something that would not be viable for the latter two. They
> are
> very important.

Tinker's are very important indeed - but where are the effective
partnerships between them and the semantic web research communities?

> "We are eight years down this path. It isn't working - at-least not
> fast
> enough."
> It is not working for you and not fast enough for you - everything is
> relative. Sure everyone would like everything faster and better and
> cheaper and ... (assuming we talk from a common western cultural
> approach) ... That is what drives us and if it doesn't we would not
> even have SIMILE but you can always see the glass half full or half
> empty.

I am very optimistic about the future. One way or another semantic
web concepts will see the light of day :)

Received on Tue Jan 17 2006 - 21:44:05 EST

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