When?
‘When...?’
Semantic Web technologies: where next...
Dan Brickley <http://danbri.org/>
Basket Cases

                  • Lessons (things that happened already)
    Lesson




Trend
                  • Trends (...
Overview
• the Semantic Web project: history, hypertext & RDF
• Two ‘claims & hypertext’ scenarios
• Awkward Bit: learning...
1.

      HISTORY
     HYPERTEXT
       & RDF
Geoffrey Sneddon, Tim Berners-Lee, William ‘When?’ Loughborough.
             W3C Technical Plenary meeting, 2008, Cannes,...
1968




Douglas Engelbart’s 1968 Demo
1989
1994




 “To a computer, the Web is a flat, boring world, devoid of
 meaning. This is a pity, as in fact documents on the ...
2008


The World:



             !


The Web:


                 !
Pages make claims




ongoing.org: this is the OpenID for Tim. Tim knows Henry.
ongoing.org: Tim’s workplaceHomepage is ht...
Strengths & Weaknesses

• Rich mixing, within and between documents
 • any RDF data can use any RDF/OWL vocab
 • can menti...
A lot to be proud of...

• world-class, Web-scale data mixing environment
• current best bet for treating the Web as data
...
2.
      CLAIMS
         &
     HYPERTEXT
“Does the Web know what you’ve been doing?”

                              http://www.w3.org/People/Alumni




1. Express ...
Problem partition
• what is W3C’s homepage?
 • we can check with Wikipedia/DBpedia
• what data/documents do they provide?
...
foaf:tipjar
Revisiting the “oh yeah?” problem with OpenID
                 authentication.
Trend




Trend
BBC Music: view source




 Q: if we know their homepage and myspace page...
          ...how does that change what you’ll...
Problem partition

• what is the Rumblestrips homepage?
• what is their myspace page?
• is the OpenID I’ve just seen, one ...
3.
                        THE
                AWKWARD
                          BIT

 Lesson
          Things that might’...
The art of compromise...



         RDF: data spork?
Why would Mozilla
           walk away?




Lesson      Lesson   Lesson
Redland+SQLLite+Mozilla = ?




                                       Lesson

                              Lesson

     ...
Lesson




                   Why would a startup with an RDF-
                    guru CTO not do RDF import?



(clue: w...
Learning Lessons
Lesson
              Read/write is harder than read-only aggregation.

    Request
                  Tool...
Next time around...


  • Drupal 7
  • OpenOffice.org
  • KDE                       Request
  • XMP
  • Yahoo! SearchMonkey...
Playing to our strengths?
    Primarily, I think this means aggregation not
management of data. This follows from the nece...
Strengths as weaknesses

• Rich mixing, within and between documents
 • any RDF data can use any RDF/OWL vocab
 • can ment...
The strange appeal of the Semantic Web...




...being greater than the sum of your parts?
4.
       TRENDS
          IN
 UI, SEARCH & SERVICES


                     Trend
What will ‘it’ be like?
An invisible Semantic Web...
Somewhat better search results.
Slightly smarter spam filters.
A calendar full of useful infor...
What, no 3D flythrough?
Freebase Parallax
               (from David Huynh, ex-SIMILE)

        • From the skyscrapers in Hong Kong
         • find...
• or take US presidents
         • the ones who are republican
           • their sons and daughters
              • the s...
Sets and links

        • The projects you work on
         • The people who work on them too
           • their latest pu...
Two flavours

   • skeptical: caring who claimed what
                                                     Request




   •...
More set-based navigation: gfacet




        “which cities are the bands that
           wrote this music from?”
Trend
Data :)


  Trend
LOD!    <http://linkeddata.org/> for details...




Trend
Search & Services


Yandex.ru, Aug 15th 2008:

“The FOAF (friend of a friend) standard makes blog
search or social network...
Is Google the next Google?
 “The Social Graph API makes information about the public
 connections between people on the we...
SGAPI: Microformats & FOAF/RDF




Claim graph analytics:
   epeus.blogspot.com: “kevinmarks.com is me!”
                 ...
5.
       THE
       NEW
      PUBLIC
     RECORD
Who, what, where and when, in...
    • Government       • Healthcare
    • Journalism       • Libraries
    • Science     ...
Already happening

  • The Web is becoming our common public record
  • the Semantic Web’s mission is to defragment it

As...
Libraries revisited: FRBR
     Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records




                                     ...
FRBR:




                                                                    Trend




Credit:   William Denton <://www.m...
Libraries revisited, ...
   ☑Catalogues.
   ☑Name authority files.
   ☑Thesauri.
   ☐ Classification schemes.



           ...
Douglas Engelbart’s 1968 Demo
Trend
Re-use
  Re-cycle
  Reclaim
  Repair




Anything but
 seamless.
Recap
When you’re a data mixing system, be a data mixing system.
  Lesson




            There is plenty more code to write, te...
Trend




          Web increasingly machine-readable -
        XML, JSON, MFs, SQL, & -yes- RDF/OWL.
             µf




...
Request




1. Get the missing code written. Tested. Packaged. Please!
2. Think about the Web as a linked information syst...
Questions?
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When?

  1. 1. When?
  2. 2. ‘When...?’ Semantic Web technologies: where next... Dan Brickley <http://danbri.org/>
  3. 3. Basket Cases • Lessons (things that happened already) Lesson Trend • Trends (things happening anyway) • Requests (things to make the future sooner) Request
  4. 4. Overview • the Semantic Web project: history, hypertext & RDF • Two ‘claims & hypertext’ scenarios • Awkward Bit: learning our lessons • play to our strengths: aggregation • Trends in UI, search and services • Big picture: Web as the new public record Lesson Trend Request
  5. 5. 1. HISTORY HYPERTEXT & RDF
  6. 6. Geoffrey Sneddon, Tim Berners-Lee, William ‘When?’ Loughborough. W3C Technical Plenary meeting, 2008, Cannes, France.
  7. 7. 1968 Douglas Engelbart’s 1968 Demo
  8. 8. 1989
  9. 9. 1994 “To a computer, the Web is a flat, boring world, devoid of meaning. This is a pity, as in fact documents on the Web describe real objects and imaginary concepts, and give particular relationships between them.” “For example, a document might describe a person. The title document to a house describes a house and also the ownership relation with a person.” Tim Berners-Lee quot;W3 future directionsquot; keynote 1st World Wide Web Conference Geneva, May 1994 “Adding semantics to the Web involves two things: allowing documents which have information in machine-readable forms, and allowing links to be created with relationship values. [this will] help us exploit the information to a greater extent than our own reading.”
  10. 10. 2008 The World: ! The Web: !
  11. 11. Pages make claims ongoing.org: this is the OpenID for Tim. Tim knows Henry. ongoing.org: Tim’s workplaceHomepage is http://sun.com/ Trend bblfish.net: Henry workplaceHomepage is http://sun.com/ bblfish.net: Henry knows Tim. Henry’s phone number is, [...]
  12. 12. Strengths & Weaknesses • Rich mixing, within and between documents • any RDF data can use any RDF/OWL vocab • can mention and describe anything related • can omit information without breaking • Things can be identified in multiple ways
  13. 13. A lot to be proud of... • world-class, Web-scale data mixing environment • current best bet for treating the Web as data • optimised for massive decentralization • somewhat chaotic, semi-structured, scruffy • but grounded in formality and simplicity
  14. 14. 2. CLAIMS & HYPERTEXT
  15. 15. “Does the Web know what you’ve been doing?” http://www.w3.org/People/Alumni 1. Express the basic claim in RDFa. 2. Hyperlinking for discovery from W3C homepage. eg: <a href=”/People/Alumni” Request rel=”xyz:alumniPage”>alumni</a> Trust comes from linked information: claims in context.
  16. 16. Problem partition • what is W3C’s homepage? • we can check with Wikipedia/DBpedia • what data/documents do they provide? • via RDFa, RDF/XML, GRDDL, SPARQL • what do they tell us? /People/Alumni etc. • are they up to date? reliable? risky? wikis? • a case-by-case decision
  17. 17. foaf:tipjar Revisiting the “oh yeah?” problem with OpenID authentication.
  18. 18. Trend Trend
  19. 19. BBC Music: view source Q: if we know their homepage and myspace page... ...how does that change what you’ll entrust to Request these OpenIDs if they log into your site?
  20. 20. Problem partition • what is the Rumblestrips homepage? • what is their myspace page? • is the OpenID I’ve just seen, one of theirs? • so that tipjar page linked from their FOAF, I can trust it? • ‘dunno mate’. Request
  21. 21. 3. THE AWKWARD BIT Lesson Things that might’ve worked out better.
  22. 22. The art of compromise... RDF: data spork?
  23. 23. Why would Mozilla walk away? Lesson Lesson Lesson
  24. 24. Redland+SQLLite+Mozilla = ? Lesson Lesson Lesso
  25. 25. Lesson Why would a startup with an RDF- guru CTO not do RDF import? (clue: wanted - stable, packaged pure-Ruby RDF toolkit)
  26. 26. Learning Lessons Lesson Read/write is harder than read-only aggregation. Request Tools. Packaging. Testing. QA. Documentation. Request Redland (RDF in C) is important. Lesson So are the scripting languages. All of them. Request
  27. 27. Next time around... • Drupal 7 • OpenOffice.org • KDE Request • XMP • Yahoo! SearchMonkey, Google SGAPI, .... • (not to mention widgets, oauth etc.)
  28. 28. Playing to our strengths? Primarily, I think this means aggregation not management of data. This follows from the necessarily patchwork, open-world nature of our data model. And of the Web. RDF is beautiful for aggregation; challenging for data management. GRDDL, SQL-to-SPARQL, RDFa, ... discuss... Request
  29. 29. Strengths as weaknesses • Rich mixing, within and between documents • any RDF data can use any RDF/OWL vocab • can mention and describe anything related • can omit information without breaking • Things can be identified in multiple ways
  30. 30. The strange appeal of the Semantic Web... ...being greater than the sum of your parts?
  31. 31. 4. TRENDS IN UI, SEARCH & SERVICES Trend
  32. 32. What will ‘it’ be like?
  33. 33. An invisible Semantic Web... Somewhat better search results. Slightly smarter spam filters. A calendar full of useful information. Long-term archival tools. Auto-maintained cross-references. Relevant people grouped in addressbook. Trend A quiet revolution?
  34. 34. What, no 3D flythrough?
  35. 35. Freebase Parallax (from David Huynh, ex-SIMILE) • From the skyscrapers in Hong Kong • find the architects • take the other buildings they made • plot those on a map Trend <http://code.google.com/p/freebase-parallax/>
  36. 36. • or take US presidents • the ones who are republican • their sons and daughters • the schools they went to • the inevitable map... • or timeline, spreadsheet, blog post... Trend
  37. 37. Sets and links • The projects you work on • The people who work on them too • their latest public bookmarks Trend
  38. 38. Two flavours • skeptical: caring who claimed what Request • trusting: navigating flattened information Trend • dataset selection & the “Oh yeah?” button Request Related UI we’re more familiar with: Google earth layers, overlaying calendars, Photoshop layers...
  39. 39. More set-based navigation: gfacet “which cities are the bands that wrote this music from?” Trend
  40. 40. Data :) Trend
  41. 41. LOD! <http://linkeddata.org/> for details... Trend
  42. 42. Search & Services Yandex.ru, Aug 15th 2008: “The FOAF (friend of a friend) standard makes blog search or social network search deeper and more accurate, in particular, it allows searching friend feeds and user profiles” “the largest blog services in the Russian internet including Livejournal.com, Liveinternet.ru and Blogs.Mail.ru, represent user profiles in FOAF.” Trend & Sindice, Garlik Qdos, Falcons, ...
  43. 43. Is Google the next Google? “The Social Graph API makes information about the public connections between people on the web more easily available.” “...indexes the public Web for XHTML Friends Network (XFN), Friend of a Friend (FOAF) markup and other publicly declared connections. By supporting open Web standards for describing connections between people, web sites can add to the social infrastructure of the web.” Trend
  44. 44. SGAPI: Microformats & FOAF/RDF Claim graph analytics: epeus.blogspot.com: “kevinmarks.com is me!” Request kevinmarks.com: “epeus.blogspot.com is me!” danbri.org: Kevin Marks’ site is http://kevinmarks.com/ danbri.org: his foaf:workplaceHomepage is http://google.com/
  45. 45. 5. THE NEW PUBLIC RECORD
  46. 46. Who, what, where and when, in... • Government • Healthcare • Journalism • Libraries • Science • Arts • Law • History • Trade • Museums • Research • Education • Agriculture • Archives... an endless list, infinitely interconnected...
  47. 47. Already happening • The Web is becoming our common public record • the Semantic Web’s mission is to defragment it Aside: privacy by obscurity is going away fast. Facebook & ‘social graph’ tools are educating a generation about “public”...
  48. 48. Libraries revisited: FRBR Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records Trend Request
  49. 49. FRBR: Trend Credit: William Denton <://www.miskatonic.org/library/2008ola/> Request
  50. 50. Libraries revisited, ... ☑Catalogues. ☑Name authority files. ☑Thesauri. ☐ Classification schemes. Trend Keep an eye on: http://openlibrary.org/ Request
  51. 51. Douglas Engelbart’s 1968 Demo
  52. 52. Trend
  53. 53. Re-use Re-cycle Reclaim Repair Anything but seamless.
  54. 54. Recap
  55. 55. When you’re a data mixing system, be a data mixing system. Lesson There is plenty more code to write, test and document. Lesson Learning from non-‘true believer’ users will speed up adoption. Lesson Stating the obvious?
  56. 56. Trend Web increasingly machine-readable - XML, JSON, MFs, SQL, & -yes- RDF/OWL. µf Pages make claims. RDF UI ideas are maturing. Massive datasets are being linked. Integration here plays to our strengths...
  57. 57. Request 1. Get the missing code written. Tested. Packaged. Please! 2. Think about the Web as a linked information system. 3. ...and the Semantic Web as a project not a thing.
  58. 58. Questions?
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