Re: A bit of bomb throwing....

From: Zack Rosen <>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2006 14:44:31 -0800

On Jan 18, 2006, at 2:08 PM, Prokopp, Christian wrote:

> Thank you for making my point with the logs.

  I'm not sure what your point was other than asking why Drupal /
Wordpress developers aren't developing semantic web technology
themselves. I think the conversations post in those logs are very
representative of the open-source web-app communities on a whole.
Drupal hackers are building upon the concepts of the semantic web but
they are not adopting the technologies (like RDF object store)
because it doesn't make sense for them to do so yet.

> "The burden of proving this is still upon the research communities
> shoulders."
> I beg to differ - it is not the researcher's responsibility to prove
> anything or enforce anything - he/she researches.

If you want the technology you are developing that implements the
concepts you've written papers about to see the light of day you have
to prove that it works and is useful. I would bet that the majority
of subscribers on this list and the researchers pursuing the semantic
web want semantic web technology to see the light of day and think
that it can. The current problem is (as i've said numerous times)
the partners (industry / enterprise) this community of researchers is
relying on to adopt the concepts and implement them simply isn't
pulling through. In the absence of an effective partner to deploy
semantic web technology solutions and prove the research works the
semantic web will remain.... research. So I guess sitting around
talking about 'responsibility' waiting for enterprise adopters to
rescue you is one option but so far I don't think that has gotten the
semantic web much traction.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Zack Rosen []
> Sent: Thursday, 19 January 2006 5:12 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: A bit of bomb throwing....
>> This would be one of the overlaps (they might still work for funds,
>> papers, PhD (e.g. David) - I don't know all their details). Why don't
>> you ask: 'Drupal's and Wordpress's mission overlaps with SIMILE - why
>> don't they pursue collaboration?' ;-)
> (Actual AIM log)
> Me: Do you think Drupal should pursue implementing semantic web
> technology such as an RDF object store?
> Drupal Developer 1: well, I have no immediate need.
> Drupal Developer 1: are other people asking for it?
> Me: no
> Drupal Developer 1: lol
> Drupal Developer 1: its not a bad idea, but I don't know how much
> people will use it or need it
> #drupal
> [10:53am] zacker: Do you think Drupal should pursue implementing
> semantic web technology such as an RDF object store?
> [10:53am] Morbus: yes.
> [10:53am] Morbus: and, in fact, someone is working on that.
> [10:53am] zacker: who is?
> [10:53am] grinder joined the chat room.
> [10:53am] Morbus:
> [10:54am] ankur joined the chat room.
> [10:54am] termie left the chat room. ("This computer has gone to
> sleep")
> [10:54am] Morbus: though, it's less about "storing drupal objects as
> rdf" and more about "storing rdf triples to compliment drupal objects"
> [10:55am] zacker: how so?
> [10:56am] chx: RDF <shudder> another bloated XML thing right?
> [10:56am] Morbus: no.
> [10:56am] Morbus: RDF is not XML.
> [10:56am] Morbus: It can be serialized as XML.
> [10:56am] Morbus: Which, yes, I agree, is the devil.
> [10:56am] Morbus: But RDF is best serialized, IMO, as N3.
> [10:56am] Morbus: <g>
> [10:57am] Morbus: zacker: see, for example, the bottom of http://
> [10:57am] zacker: thanks
> [10:58am] xjjk: Morbus: you need a new theme
> [10:59am] nemo_work: RDF is non-hierarchical
> [10:59am] nemo_work: so rendering it as XML would be a little silly
> [10:59am] nemo_work: although of course possible
> [11:00am] Morbus: chx:
> [11:00am] Morbus: for a very soft, and quite outta date (2002) intro
> to RDF and the Semantic Web, by yours truly.
> [11:00am] nemo_work:
> Serialising
> [11:00am] nemo_work: Morbus: btw, I'm given to understand that Gecko
> is moving away from localstore.rdf to an internal db?
> [11:01am] Morbus: I've no idea.
> [11:01am] nemo_work: just wondering, 'cause that's one of the few
> uses of RDF out there.
> [11:01am] Morbus: well, FOAF and RSS 1.0 are a big one.
> [11:01am] Morbus: though, Wordpress wants to remove RSS 1.0 support
> now.
> [11:02am] Morbus: because, for some odd reason, they believe it's too
> old.
> [11:02am] nemo_work: doing feeds as RDF doesn't seem to make much
> sense. I've always thought, why not stick with XML for data that
> will always be hierarchical?
> [11:03am] Morbus: well, RSS, from day one, was originally RDF in the
> first place.
> [11:03am] Morbus: until Winer came along and screwed it up.
> [11:03am] nemo_work: I do bemoan the fact that the pervasiveness of
> XML has made hierarchies almost instinctive.
> [11:03am] Morbus: and, honestly, i don't see RSS as hierarchal.
> [11:03am] nemo_work: that and java
> [11:03am] nemo_work: Morbus: well, it grew out of web logs
> [11:03am] Morbus: it's just items. there's no hierarchy to items.
> [11:04am] nemo_work: a list of items, each with attributes, yeah.
> even less than a hierarchy
> [11:04am] Morbus: actually, no, it grew out of
> [11:04am] Morbus: not web logs.
> [11:04am] nemo_work: definitely no need for graphing though
> [11:04am] Morbus: if anything grew out of weblogs, it was winer's
> original scriptingNews format.
> The Drupal community is open to the concepts but skeptical of the
> value of semantic web technology.
>> and then we are back where Stefano
>> (I think) started - join/collaborate or do something else.
>> Personally I
>> wonder if the interest is *that* great (yet) from any side because
>> you
>> seem to be the only one really eager about this collaboration or else
>> people would be all over each others mail lists and already implement
>> with each other. There is no one stopping or preventing it but it
>> seems
>> the interest is not big enough yet for people to spend their
>> resources
>> on this. Sure it is a bit the chicken-egg problem but that is no
>> one's
>> fault.
>> I for my part found something interesting in SIMILE and will work
>> with
>> it and contribute to it wherever my interests cross theirs and it
>> seems
>> there are an increasing amount of people doing that which comes
>> back to
>> your desire for an active open source community - it takes time but I
>> think this project is on its way there.
> The Drupal community is open to collaboration but they are skeptical
> of the value and use afforded by RDF / semantic web technologies.
> The burden of proving this is still upon the research communities
> shoulders. I don't think this is an impossible chasm for this
> community to cross.
> Realistically, If you can't convince the tinkering community who can
> you convince?
> -Zack
Received on Wed Jan 18 2006 - 22:44:08 EST

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