NEW YORK — The World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Semantic Web is
ready for a new phase of development that will lead to the creation
of new tools, languages and applications, the W3C’s director said.
In the process, the Semantic Web will respond more intelligently
to user queries.
The future of the Semantic Web dominated the discussions at this
year’s week long World Wide Web
Conference. Tim Berners-Lee used his keynote to applaud the
recent approval of two key technologies — Resource Description
Framework (RDF) and the Web Ontology Language (OWL) — and outline a
vision of building up and out from those foundations.
Berners-Lee, one of the driving
forces behind the idea of giving data more meaning through the
use of metadata (define),
said the second phase will offer a time of “less constraints” where
many new tools and languages built on RDF will emerge.
He predicted a future where enterprises would adopt the Semantic
Web and be startled by the dramatic way in which data can be
collected and formatted in order to help humans and machines
interact with information. “We will see many new different
applications and RDF and OWL will tie them all together. We’ll see
an extension of languages with variables and quotation.”
During his keynote address at the meeting Wednesday, Berners-Lee
outlined the simplicity of the Semantic Web, as based on RDF, but
lamented that not many enterprises had bought into the value of
adopting the concept.
“There is a culture gap there. A lot of the geeks are doing all
kinds of stuff to their personal data but because enterprise data is
hidden, there’s that gap. Not many enterprises get the Semantic Web
and I think that to bridge this gap, we have to figure out how to
speak all the languages.”
He provided overview examples of how different types of data
could be cut-and-pasted or dragged-and-dropped into a Semantic Web
rule to generate events or transactions in spectacular new ways.
“We’re at that stage now where we can look ahead to how the data
will be indexed and how the rules will be indexed. That’s when
things get really interesting.”