TimBL on the Semantic Web and Integration

Jeremy Allaire posts a transcript of a “conversation”(?) with Tim Berners-Lee on the Semantic Web at PC Forum.

Here’s a snippet which includes some of Tim’s words, plus Jeremy’s commentary;

TBL: business model for semantic web is the biz model of the web. it’s how apps interoperate, it’s how apps talk. short answer: dramatically reduce cost of enterprise app integration.

(My side conversation with Adam Bosworth, BEA chief architect and ex-Microsoft, Adam helped shape many of the XML standards. We both agree that this RDF thing is a big joke and TBL is on another planet. Adam helped drive the creation of XML Schema and XML Namespaces, as well as Web Services standards that uses these, and these are the things that are actually driving the semantic web. Virtualy no one uses RDF, but nearly everyone is moving to these other standards).

I’m a big believer in the technology behind the Semantic Web, but am skeptical that it will see widescale deployment anytime soon, due mainly to the (current) lack of a killer app. But that doesn’t reduce its value for application integration by very much. As we’ve seen, any form, of exposure of a system in a machine processable manner is an improvement over the alternative of having no access. It sounds to me like Jeremy and maybe Adam don’t even see the Semantic Web as a solution to the same problem that they’re tackling in their Web services work. Well, it is, and it’s worth investigating further before so easily dismissing it.

I’d recommend reading an earlier blog entry about the value of the Semantic Web for integration.

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