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World Wide Web Consortium's Ivan Herman Talks About the Semantic Web

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W3C Semantic Web Activity Lead Ivan Herman

Georgia Straight

The Semantic Web could lead to the creation of "mash-ups on steroids," according to Ivan Herman, the World Wide Web Consortium's Semantic Web activity lead. "If . . . the data was available the same way as documents are available in HTML with links and the same way that the Web of data was there, then mash-up sites could be built easily — much more easily than today — by combining the various types of data together," he reasons.

Herman contends that Resource Description Framework (RDF) is the core model of the Semantic Web, and calls RDF a "very essential technology" because it is capable of adding RDF information to an HTML file and then retrieving the information in RDF. Bridging two relational databases is a challenge that must still be addressed if the Semantic Web is to proliferate, and Herman says one of the as-yet unanswered questions is whether this bridge should be shaped by market forces or standardized. "The practicality of scaling, the practicality of reasoning over large scale, large amounts of data is coming more and more to the fore because there are a number of movements which put public data into RDF," he observes. "But today on the Web, you have billions and billions of triples that are available, and there are applications that begin to make use of those."

From Georgia Straight
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