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Why the Semantic Web Will Fail

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the coopetition dept.

The Internet 179

Jack Action writes "A researcher at Canada's National Research Council has a provocative post on his personal blog predicting that the Semantic Web will fail. The researcher notes the rising problems with Web 2.0 — MySpace blocking outside widgets, Yahoo ending Flickr identities, rumors Google will turn off its search API — and predicts these will also cripple Web 3.0." From the post: "The Semantic Web will never work because it depends on businesses working together, on them cooperating. There is no way they: (1) would agree on web standards (hah!) (2) would adopt a common vocabulary (you don't say) (3) would reliably expose their APIs so anyone could use them (as if)."

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Far out! (4, Funny)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426941)

Thank God for Web4.1!

Re:Far out! (3, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426961)

> Thank God for Web4.1!

Software development is getting worse. x.1 of anything is as bad as 1.0 used to be. You'd be advised to wait for Web4.2 or at the very least Web4.1 Service Pack 1.

Re:Far out! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427135)

Part of the reason that software development is getting worse is because of all the layering that is being done these days.

Yes, some degree of abstraction and layering is necessary when developing software. But it must be kept to a sane level. These layers must be developed, ideally, by the very same people or project group, to help ensure a certain level of quality. And sometimes when our layering tower gets too tall, we need to kick out the middle.

Take a typical Web site today. It involves HTML and JavaScript, which is displayed by a web browser. If you're using a browser like Firefox, your web page is in turn displayed via XUL. XUL runs on top of the Gecko rendering engine. Gecko runs on top of a toolkit like GTK+. GTK+ runs on top of GDK and GLib. GDK runs on top of Xlib. Xlib runs on top of C standard library and the underlying operating system. Only now do we get anywhere near the actual hardware.

So we end up with an extremely tall serial tower, where failure occurs if even just one component runs into trouble. The Semantic Web is partially susceptible to this sort of a problem, too. Look at its technology stack [] . If any one of the libraries that implements such functionality fails, your whole Semantic Web stack fails.

Re:Far out! (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427139)

No, the main reason is reinvention of the wheel and too many egos and managemnet want more in less time with less people and its a BLUE COLLAR JOB, its not rocket science anymore, its like building a house, get over yourself.

Re:Far out! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427281)

I beg to differ, the problem is that it is indeed a white collar job, but put in the hands of blue collars like cheap monkeys on typewriters (hence the result).
It may not be rocket science, but it still is pure logic.
And casual people and logic don't mix very well.

Re:Far out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427601)

So much for that Object reuse eh, like lego bricks was it? I say you are full of shit. We dont make things small and general enough to reuse we just keep building from the ground up because they are "techies" and must have gadgets and techie shit. Sorry, I beg to differ. I work for Microsoft and our stuff is shit for this very reason. Our commitments mean we have to "build" and build and create and build in order to get a good review, we cannot colloberate, thats not going to get our bonus!

Re:Far out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427791)

'We dont make things small and general enough to reuse '
Yes we do: that is called an API....
And if you work at Microsoft, you are probably the one supposed to make those API, so yes YOU have to build and build and build those lego bricks for me....
Guess you don't understand your own work..

Re:Far out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428475)

1) I dont work on SDK's, what I do is consume those API's, and 2) You have obviously no idea what its like to work with PM's, PUM's etc at MSFT

Re:Far out! (2, Funny)

alexwcovington (855979) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427291)

Except Google, where everything is in permanent Beta!

Re:Far out! (0, Redundant)

Dausha (546002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427317)

Personally, I'm holding out for Web 4.79.

Re:Far out! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428107)

Personally, I'll be happy when Web3.11 for Workgroups comes out.

So let me get this straight ... (3, Insightful)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426951)

One of the problems is lack of standardization, and one of the symptoms is Yahoo! normalizing Flickr's user accounts with its own?

Re:So let me get this straight ... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427407)

Lack of standards isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes it's easier to write your own protocol, then to write a standard protocol that could encompass all possible future uses. Working with things like EDI [] which attempt to standardize everything can make things more difficult than just working out at method that works for exactly what you need it to do.

Re:So let me get this straight ... (1)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427677)

Yeah, I was wondering about that as well. I like and use Flickr a lot, and Yahoo really hasn't changed it much; there are some things I dislike (the integration of the Organizr with Yahoo maps, for example, which are vastly inferior to Google maps both in terms of slickness and accuracy[1]), but I can understand why they want to consolidating "old-school" and newer Flickr accounts into one system instead of operating two different systems at the same time, and I have no idea how anyone could construe that to be an example of the alleged failure of the semantic web.

Seriously - the semantic web doesn't even exist so far, and even if it did, what would the backend used for signing in to Flickr have to do with it? I just don't get it.

1. YMMV if you're from the USA or Canada, but I'm not, and I can definitely say that Google Maps provides a much better experience for me.

Re:So let me get this straight ... (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427893)

Yeah, they've "ended Flickr identities" by making you log in with a non-Flickr Yahoo account instead of your non-Flickr email address, while keeping the same Flickr username, URL, and photos. I know I feel my identity was wrested away from me. Web2.0 is dead, and I'm going to get my revenge by moving all of my crappy photos to a broken site with like 5 users. That'll show 'em!

It will fail for other reasons too (4, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426959)

The semantic web will fail because it is too complex and noone outside the academic community working on it really understands it. The ad-hoc tagging systems and microformats Web 2.0 has brought are good enough for most people, and much simpler for the casual web developer to understand.

Deal with the hype and complexity, Hal Porter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427093)

Another problem is that we hear nothing but hype about the Semantic Web. Here on Slashdot, there's some fellow named Hal Porter who will always go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about how great the Semantic Web is. But all it is so far is hype. We see little in the way of tangible results.

But you're completely correct about complexity being a problem. I mean, look at the Semantic Web stack [] . It'll take most developers years to become suitably familiar with even a small portion of those technologies. And by the time they've managed to get even just a minimal grasp of such technologies, there's no doubt such knowledge will be completely outdated.

Re:Deal with the hype and complexity, Hal Porter. (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427837)

We see little in the way of tangible results.

See Visualizing the Semantic Web [] , ed. Geroimenko and Chen (Springer-Verlag, 2005). Even five years ago when the first edition of this book appeared, the Semantic Web was already a reality in that the technologies around it were already mature enough to be used on internal projects. Sure, the Average Joe using Flickr might not even encounter this, but it's long been possible for developers (even relative amateurs) to powerfully manipulate semantically tagged data.

Re:It will fail for other reasons too (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427259)

Web standards are doing a lot to create a semantic web without people having to think about it. We're fast moving from "this is a big red piece of text" to "this is a heading" thanks to CSS allowing us to state that headings should be big and red.

I doubt we're ever going to be in a position where every site is marked up with RDF metadata, but a lot of sites are now offering APIs that are good enough to do the job, sure we're unlikely to have a universal API that allows us to query any website on the internet and extract the data we're looking for, but realistically what would that actually gain us?

Services such as Froogle provide a bridge between your average e-commerce site with products listed on it, and microformats are going a long way towards allowing people to build sites that are semantic enough to do the job - for example, most people aren't interested in getting the About Us page of a corporate site, they just want the contact details.

I think we're going to see a lot more almost-standards around the web, which provide a common way to mark up certain parts of a page, without having to go to the trouble of adding RDF metadata to everything that gets built.

Re:It will fail for other reasons too (2, Insightful)

crimperman (225941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427475)

We're fast moving from "this is a big red piece of text" to "this is a heading" thanks to CSS allowing us to state that headings should be big and red.

Fast? CSS has allowed us to do that since 1996 [] ! :o)

I doubt we're ever going to be in a position where every site is marked up with RDF metadata, but a lot of sites are now offering APIs that are good enough to do the job, sure we're unlikely to have a universal API that allows us to query any website on the internet and extract the data we're looking for, but realistically what would that actually gain us?

People used similar arguments for HTML standards when the (first) browser wars were on. The purpose of a standard is (supposed to be) that sites interacting with each other (as is an ideal of Web 2.0) can do so without specific coding for each site you interact with. Hence RSS aggregators can grab any RSS feed and display it. If "Web 2.0" is going to be as useful as the web itself then it needs to avoid splitting into different APIs and formats.

I think we're going to see a lot more almost-standards around the web...

And, for me, this is part of the problem.

Re:It will fail for other reasons too (5, Insightful)

tbriggs6 (816403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427299)

Have you ever read the original presentation of work by Codd on relational databases? How about the RFC standards on TCP/IP? How about the original presentation and arguments on the inclusion of Interrupts in a processor? Boy, those were so easy to understand and obvious that they were even published at all. The process of science is to push the state of the art; which by definition is new and novel. This is the job of the computer science researcher. It is left to others to examine the research and reformulate in terms that mere mortals can understand. If you understand the concepts behind the OSI layers, Lambda expressions, or symmetric multi-processing, thank a computer science educator who abstracted and distilled the hell of the science and research and packaged in such a way that you can understand it and maybe even use it. To claim that failure is imminent because the current presentation of the Semantic Web is too complex is nonsense.

Re:It will fail for other reasons too (4, Insightful)

Niten (201835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427861)

You're missing the point. It's not that the current "presentation" of the Semantic Web is too complex; the problem is that actually creating the Semantic Web is too complex a task for most Web content creators to be interested in.

Essentially, the Semantic Web asks users to explicitly state relations between concepts and ideas to make up for our current lack of an AI capable of discerning such things for itself from natural human language. But let's face it, the average Joe writing his weblog or LiveJournal entries - or even a more technical user such as myself - would generally not be interested in performing this time-consuming task, even with the aid of a fancy WordPress plugin or other automated process. This is what the parent meant by saying it's just "too complicated".

The way to realize the Semantic Web is to advance AI technology to the point where it becomes an automated process. Anything less would require too much manual labor to take off.

Re:It will fail for other reasons too (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427947)

No, the problem is capitalism, and the incentive it creates to screw people over for profit rather than co-operate for the common good.

Technology isn't going to overcome that problem. We need a new economic system.

Re:It will fail for other reasons too (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428509)

And the common good does what in this case?

If search engines start using semantic tags to prioritize their results then people will start semantically tagging their data. Time is a finite resource and people need incentives to spend their time tagging their site semantically. This has little or nothing to do with a particular economic system.

Re:It will fail for other reasons too (1)

bbtom (581232) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428499)

That sounds just like a big user experience problem. There is nothing technically wrong with the data model, it just needs to have people design decent, usable interfaces and make the experience of using the system easier. That, combined with motivation - putting incentives in front of people to make data available. Sounds enough to keep the Silicon Valley type startup culture rolling for a few more years... :)

Re:It will fail for other reasons too (1)

steevc (54110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427415)

Since I first read about the semantic web a few years back I've been hoping that some of it's ideas would take off. I've created my own FOAF [] file, but it's only recently that a couple of geek friends have created theirs that I can link to. I know a few social network sites generate these, but they may not be able to link to people outside that network. The project site does not seem to have been updated in a couple of years. There's the usual problem of nobody daring to publish an email address for fear of being spammed, although FOAF caters for SHA-1 checksums to reduce the risks.

I've also played with [] . I see a few sites using it, but, again, the homepage is not being updated.

Cory Doctorow wrote about Metacrap [] in 2001. Has much changed since then? There is the risk/certainty that companies/spammers will create fake metadata to attract the clicks, but perhaps someone can come up with a trust system to avoid that.

Web services (3, Insightful)

Knutsi (959723) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426983)

Doesn't Web 2.0 reach a "critical mass" as some point, where busineese will no longer be able to not cooperate? Of course, it all gets very fragile even then...

Re:Web services (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427365)

Exactly. There's a hidden assumption in the question that the Web is now and will continue to be run by businesses. Anyone who's been around long enough knows that most of the trends seen on the Web today were set forth years before any businesses started showing up. The businesses started following the trends then and they will continue to follow the trends set in motion by the pioneers of the Web, as long as they continue to reach critical mass.

Re:Web services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427573)

"Doesn't Web 2.0 reach a "critical mass" as some point, where busineese will no longer be able to not cooperate? Of course, it all gets very fragile even then..."

That is the problem, the whole idealogy of competition is antithetical to further human development and that is the truth. Many great projects are TOTALLY self actualized. i.e. wikipedia, digg, etc. Human beings as a race need to grow up sometime, they can no longer act like barbarians only concerned for the concerns of themselves, truth is most human beings "will", in that the quality of choices they make and opinions is little more then that of glorified bacteria.

Re:Web services (1)

Jessta (666101) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427603)

Everything that is old is new again.
We already solved the interprocess communication issue.
But now that our processes are being run on many different machines, by many different companies, all of which don't conform to any kind of standard, and the user has no control, we need to solve the issue again.

It's going to be fun to see the mess.

Re:Web services (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427683)

Only in the case where service users are also service providers. If websites out there all use Google's API and Google finds that they are losing money by losing direct traffic, they will truncate their API or drop the service.

No for-profit business is in the business of providing services for free. What they will do is give you a free lunch in exchange for picking up the dinner bill.

Re:Web services (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427895)

>>Doesn't Web 2.0 reach a "critical mass" as some point, where busineese will no longer be able to not cooperate?<<

That could happen. However, in order to reach "critical mass" you need to have some number of businesses cooperating (and profiting from the cooperation) so that other businesses see the advantages of following open standards.

On the other hand, if "pioneer" companies like Google, Yahoo, and others fail to cooperate, then the odds of Web2.0 reaching critical mass are much reduced.

"Why the semantic web will fail" (3, Funny)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426985)

...says the guy who's blogging this opinion...

Re:"Why the semantic web will fail" (2, Interesting)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427063) [] [] []

Nothing on any of those pages indicated that blogging is an inherent part of the "semantic web". As best as I can tell, the semantic web people want there to be some kind of SQL language for websites, so you can type "SELECT `images` FROM `websites` WHERE `porn` > 0 AND `price` = 0 AND `subject` = 'shitting dick nipples'" instead of going to Google or something.

I guess it'd be nice to end my dependance on GOOG, but I think this naysayer guy with the blog makes some good points.

Re:"Why the semantic web will fail" (1)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427233)

Sure, but everyone knows that blogging has stemmed from the Semantic Web. Just one of the various 'what you do' things that people now do on the web.

Re:"Why the semantic web will fail" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427531)

The Semantic Web was first proposed by Berners-Lee in 1999. According to Wikipedia, blogging first gained in popularity in 1994. Care to explain how blogging "stemmed from" the Semantic Web 5 years before it was even proposed?

Re:"Why the semantic web will fail" (1)

tbriggs6 (816403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427375)

Love the imagary your post conjures; where is that bleach to pour into my mind. I must agree with you though, blogging is not inherently part of the SW; it is part of BBS systems. Good lord, what is old is new again. Blog posts are just mesasge forums where you are your own sysop. As far as the semantic web does go, it is not simply for supporting some new fancy SQL. In fact, the purpose is to support representation, consumption, and reasoning about knowledge. Knowledge != Data. In your "interesting" example, we would use the semantic web to represent exactly what properties make something an image (knowledge representation), allow our agents to collect information about things that directly satisfy those properies (consume knowledge), and to infer that others things which satisfy those properties are also images (reasoning). You may have a rule that says an image is a file on the web with an MIME type of image/jpg I may say that an image is a stream of bytes which begins with "GIF87" (or whatever the header is for a GIF file). If our reasoner can infer our two descriptions describe the same things, then it can infer that the set of all images is the union of our two rules. Thus, our agent has created NEW knowledge that we never put into the system.

Re:"Why the semantic web will fail" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427787)

Here, take this bleach. []

Re:"Why the semantic web will fail" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427539)

For some reason, it keeps spitting 4chan out as the answer.

The real reason (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426995)

The researcher is just annoyed because no one sent him invites to Gmail.

Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (4, Insightful)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426999)

It was created to solve a problem we had when everyone was using Hotbot and Altavista, but people are trying to introduce it into a world where everyone is using Google. (And Wikipedia. And all that Web 2.0 junk.)

I don't need you to mark "This page is a REVIEW of a CELL PHONE that has the NAME iPhone" anymore. All I need to do is Google "iPhone review" or hop on over to Amazon. Problem pretty freaking solved from my perspective.

Why the future tense, anyway? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427025)

Is the semantic web supposed to be a success in the present times?

Re:Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (4, Interesting)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427041)

Just not true. For one thing, Google's results are much too noisy. For another, it relies on keywords occurring on pages, and that's rather primitive (it's not always trivial to find good keywords, and even then you might miss the one page your were looking for because they used a synonym or misspelled it).

But the most important reason is that it would be much cooler to have a web where you could say "give me a list of all the goals scored by Romario" and have it list them for me. I don't care about pages, I want information, answers to questions. That's what the Semantic Web is supposed to be a first mini step for.

Re:Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (5, Insightful)

Wah (30840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427661)

For one thing, Google's results are much too noisy. For another, it relies on keywords occurring on pages, and that's rather primitive

No it doesn't. The genius of google was that it relies on people linking to pages talking about keywords. And uses various tools to identify and promote good linkers.

But the most important reason is that it would be much cooler to have a web where you could say "give me a list of all the goals scored by Romario" and have it list them for me.

That's a curious thing to ask for, since the first google result is a story about how there is a good bit of controversy surrounding Romario's "1,000" goals. The problem is your request is to vague and doesn't define all the words within itself (i.e. does a goal scored as teenager in a different league count?).

This goal is quite a bit higher than many realize, as you could get 10 people (5 of them experts) in a room and they wouldn't necessarily be able to agree on the "right" answer.

To ask, or even demand, that computers do the same task as a background function is ludicrious, IMHO (at least when applied to a universal context).

Re:Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (1)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428355)

>> For one thing, Google's results are much too noisy. For another, it relies on keywords occurring on pages, and that's rather primitive

> No it doesn't. The genius of google was that it relies on people linking to pages talking about keywords

Being a gigantic web circle jerk doesn't make the results any less noisy.
It just makes popular stuff more "popular". If you aren't searching for the
latest craze all the cool kids are talking about, you can spend a fair amount of time
crafting keywords to filter out the popular noise from what you are after.

Re:Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (2, Interesting)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427759)

Google is actually somewhat fault-tolerant when it comes to spellings - it doesn't just offer suggestions along the lines of "did you mean FOOBAR" when it thinks you mistyped something, it also includes spelling variants in your search results by default. I can't come up with a *good* example right now, but for a bad one, try to search for "head set" (sans quotes) and observe that you also get hits for the word "headset".

I do agree about noise, but only to the extent that the spam sites and the like you get when searching for, um, certain terms are annoying. Outside of that, the sites you cast aside as irrelevant may well be what someone else was looking for, and that's doubly true for queries that are not as specific as "give me a list of all the goals scored by Romario". I sometimes look up error messages etc. on Google, for example, and any mailing list archive where they are mentioned might have the solution I'm looking for. I'm not sure at all how the semantic web would deal with that kind of query.

Re:Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427793)

miss the one page your were looking for because they used a synonym or misspelled it

I consider this proofage for why the Grammer Nazis will once day rool the werld.

Everyone can agree that would be cool (3, Interesting)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428201)

But there are three ways to get that.

1) A search service that indexes all of Romario's goals.
2) A manually built asset that aggregates all of Romario's goals.
3) A standard system of semantic tags that self-identifies all Romario goal assets.

#1 is Google. As you point out now it relies primarily on keywords but you oversell the problem in two ways. First of all most video hosting sites already provide author and/or community tagging--thus providing a way for keywords to be assigned. Second, you're comparing a future semantic Web against the Google of today.

#2 can be provided by commercial video companies now ("1,000 Great Man U Goals," etc). It's also possible that a fan site could do the manual labor to find, upload, and keyword the videos.

#3 is the "semantic Web" approach, wherein all content providers follow a standard for self-identifying their content in a computer-parsable way.

The thing that distinguishes 1 and 2 from 3 is the scope of work required. #1 and #2 rely on a small team of dedicated people to accomplish the task. #3 relies on a very broad group of people of varying levels of dedication.

If you're talking practically about the solution, none of those approaches are going to to get to 100%. As others have pointed out there is a real human semantic problem in identifying which goals of Romario to count, how far back to look, etc.

But the key is that #1 and #2 are approaches of a scope that we know can work. #3 seems unlikely to get the buy-in and effort required.

Re:Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428571)

Exactly. The biggest problem with the generic search engines today is that they don't separate content from page layout.

A good example of this is a product page that contains the words "add review". If the site in question has a decent page rank, it may appear high up in the google listing when someone searches for 'review "product name"' even though the page in question doesn't contain a single review. This isn't a problem for popular items that have reviews on big review sites that are assosciated with the word "review", but for rarer items it quickly becomes a waste of time.

Generic search engines are plain inferior to focused search engines that extract specific data from the sites they scan.

Focused search engines have several problems of their own though.

* They require special coding for each website they scan. -- This is what the semantic web would help with.
* The focused search engine may include fewer websites than the generic engine. -- The semantic web could also help with locating websites also.
* There aren't search engines for all subjects.
* Finding a focused search engine may be as much trouble as finding what you search for in the first place.

Re:Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (1)

anomalous cohort (704239) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428591)

I don't care about pages, I want information

I don't think that everyone would agree with that. I don't believe that the semantic web is about data aggregation as much as it is about context sensitive search.

If you were correct, then the semantic web would not get adoption until the data aggregation function could honor the syndicator's financial need to display advertising. That would be very tricky. The syndicator would no longer be able to make any promises to the advertiser regarding placement. That would have a chilling affect on the most predominant business model on the web.

Re:Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428601)

I think the problem is that it's not being done well enough to do something like what you want.

Another problem with the way you want to do is that the sites that have this information want you to go to them. If you visit them, they get ad impressions, possibly ad clicks and some attention/notoriety/fame/etc. If there's no attention and no money to be made because some other service has slurped your information, then it's often not worth puting up the information in a manner that's easily & automatically slurpable so that the user never has to visit the site that has the information.

Re:Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (1)

lundqvist (1070102) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427071)

The whole place is too complicated now anyway. I long for the early years of simple searches getting direct results.

Re:Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427301)

You're absolutely kidding me, right?

When was the last time you attempted to search for a product review and didn't have to sift through a crapload of spam and sales responses?

Not to mention now there is so much crap out there now that the odds of a page having all of my search terms on it, and still being completely irrelevant (or spam), is pretty high.

Being able to specify the type of result you want (review, sales, etc) would make search actually useful.

Re:Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (4, Insightful)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427373)

All those spam and sales people will probably still tag their page with "review", the same way people used to stick anything and everything in META tags. The semantic web won't make people tell the truth about their pages...

Re:Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (1)

MrNonchalant (767683) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428181)

That's what the trust systems for the semantic web are for.

wiki (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428463)

What if the semantic web were done in a wiki that anyone could edit? That would make it more accurate, I would think.

Re:Reason #1 the Semantic Web will fail (1)

KjetilK (186133) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428443)

Google is an excellent example why this isn't solved. So, my employer wanted to link to some of our partners. We have a really high google rank. But we couldn't do that, because google would punish us because they think we're getting paid to link to our partners. Google is actually broken.

What is broken about it? The thing is that google thinks that the link has semantics, and the PageRank algorithm is totally based on that flaw. A link doesn't have any semantics.

So, what have we done about it? RDF is actually the simplest thing that could possibly work: Instead of just a link between two documents, there is a triple, where the semantics of the link is defined.

For a lot of businesses, this flaw of google is a problem, because you cannot talk about things that google thinks is spam.

Corporate Self Centeredness (2, Insightful)

ooze (307871) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427001)

Only way to set an industry standard is, to get so fast so big in a new market/technology that everybody has to follow.
Problem is, when you get so big so fast, there are almost neccessarily major flaws in the designs.
Problem is, you never get rid of them again.

Google (1, Insightful)

c_fel (927677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427023)

What are those rumors about Google who would be closing their search API ? Are we talking about the boxes we can put on our sites to make a search in Google ? I thought the add shown besides the results were their main revenue : Why the hell would they close it ?

Re:Google (2, Informative)

discord5 (798235) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427277)

What are those rumors about Google who would be closing their search API ? Are we talking about the boxes we can put on our sites to make a search in Google ?

No, this is about the SOAP API [] being replaced by a less flexible AJAX API [] . Never used either of them to be honest, but that's because I don't have any real need for them. When it comes to the content of my own websites (or rather my customers websites), I'd much rather prefer relying on my own database than an index google made.

Why it will fail (4, Insightful)

squoozer (730327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427031)

It might fail for the reasons given (no I've not read the full article yet - naturally) but personally I think it will fail simply because it's too much work for the amount of payback. It would be great if one day magically over night all our data was semantically marked up but that's not going to happen. The reality of it is that we will have to mark up the majority of content by hand. Even then inter-ontology mappings are so difficult that I'm not sure the system would be much use.

Perhaps worse than that though is the prospect of semantic spamming. It would be impossible to trust the semantic mark up in a document unless you could actually process the document and understand it. What would be the point in the mark up in that case?

Re:Why it will fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427091)

personally I think it will fail simply because it's too much work for the amount of payback.
This is the reason, the people don't understand it. It's like giving a fusion reactor to a cave man. No love.

Yes. Also... (1)

Zarkonnen (662709) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427033)

I agree that the Semantic Web people haven't read their epistemology texts. Here's an interesting article on this topic [] , explaining how essentially, all this "web-of-meaning" stuff was tried by NLP/AI researchers decades ago, and plain does not work.

The article concludes that a "weak" version of the semantic web may be possible - no clever inference or anything, just a set of data interchange standards. Which is basically the XML / data interchange standards bit of Web 2.0.

But as the blog entry says, even that might not happen due to commercial interests. The obvious (and oh so Slashdot) thing to say at this point is that we need open, not-for-profit data interchange standards - but of course the commercial sites would then refuse to use them. Or if they did, they'd probably try to embrace-and-extend [] them.

the real reason? (2, Interesting)

eokyere (685783) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427037)

it trivializes the hard problems, and then goes on to make the really soft ones look like they are hard. read shirky [ .html]

What is it anyway? (3, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427045)

So what is this semantic web / web 2.0 thing anyway?

Sure, we're all seeing community sites, blogs, tagging, etc. But each of those sites is an individual site, and their only connections seem to be plain HTML links. Community sites don't really allow collaboration, blogs are standardized personal web pages and who here uses tags to actually find information? All these things might warrant a "Web 1.0 patch 3283" label, but is it really a new type of web? Is it the type and magnitude of paradigm shift that the first web was? It only seems like people are just becoming more aware of the possibilities of the same web it was 10 years ago.

Re:What is it anyway? (2, Insightful)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427187)

I would agree. The current idea of what constitutes Web 2.0 doesn't fit the label. If I had to propose a new definition for Web 2.0, it would be the beginning shift of desktop applications to the Web. I just can't consider a trend in graphics, tagging, and social networking as a major advancement in the Web. Yeah, it's cool and it can be fun, but you said it best when you called it the "3282 patch". That's a more appropriate title for what's going on.

What's really cool is the beginning of desktop to web applications. There are a lot of innovative applications floating around -- mostly niche (being able to create a .doc document online is not really interesting) -- that allow you (or firms) to do things they couldn't do before. These applications have had impressive effects on their users. Despite the many shortcomings of the Web, I truly believe niche applications are more deserving of the Web 2.0 title.

Re:What is it anyway? (2, Interesting)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427809)

There might not be a clear revolution, but there certainly is a lot of evolution going on. For example, compare early web pages [] (written a mere 15 years ago) to, say, Google Maps; I think it's safe to say that there happened more than just a move from "Web 1.0" to "Web 1.0 patch 3283".

The problem with "web 2.0" is not that the web hasn't changed dramatically, it's that the term is rooted in marketing rather than technology.

Re:What is it anyway? (1)

KjetilK (186133) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428589)

Indeed, the Web 2.0 thing is really a small, incremental change. Write-web was really in TimBL's ideas from the beginning. Collaboration too. Arguably, the application web is a bigger step up.

But Web 2.0 is distinctly different from the Semantic Web. The Semantic Web is about structuring data on a global level and allow queries on them. There is a lot of structured data out there (in backend databases, XML trees, etc), and making them available in a consistent data model, the Semantic Web is here.

The big use cases are bigger mashups. Like now, people are doing some mashups. Like for example putting weather symbols on google maps and get weather forecasts. That's trivial on the Semantic Web, you would do that without any programmer, you just say that "this weather symbol" is an icon, and that's it, an ontology aware browser would just do it.

Programmers are using a lot of time on creating simple mashups, but semweb mashups typically involves little effort to include like 10 different data sources.

Why the Semantic Web will work (1)

cedars (566854) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427123)

I challenge everyone to take a look at: []

It will take a while to understand and you'll probably need to read the instructions [] . But if you can imagine a more user-friendly version of this Wiki you'll begin to see why the Semantic Web is such a powerful idea. Yes, big corporations can really help launch a technology but they are not the be all and end all. Small businesses have played a big role in the emergence of new technologies. Remember those really small companies like Google, MySpace and Netscape?

My gut tells me the semantic web will take off. It won't be a utopia and won't fulfil all the promises, but like so many technologies, it will make things a little better than before.


Re:Why the Semantic Web will work (1)

GerardM (535367) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428309)

I love Semantic MediaWiki. I use it for a private wiki and it is really nice. It has several things going for it and one drawback. It is really great how you can bring all kinds of content together defining relation types on the fly. It's drawback is that it works for one language at a time. This in my opinion is one aspect that is holding the semantic web back.

My private opinion is that [] provides the multilingual support, a combination that brings the Semantic MediaWiki together with the OmegaWiki technology provides the best of both worlds.


You keep using that word... (1, Funny)

thenerdgod (122843) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427161)

I do not think it means what you think it means

Re:You keep using that word... (4, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427769)

`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master -- that's all.'

Lewis Carol had it right [] , and George Orwell agreed with him [] : "Which is to be master" is the question that matters.

In free societies, everyone is master, and our language is conditioned only by the minimal need to communicate approximately with others. Beyond that, we are free to impose whatever semantics we want, and we do this to a far greater extent than most people realize. As a friend who works in GIS once said, "If I send out a bunch of geologists to map a site and collate their data at the end of the day, I can tell you who mapped where, but not what anyone mapped." Individual meanings of terms as simple as "granite" or "schist" are sufficiently variable that even extremely concrete tasks are very difficult.

Imposing uniform ontologies on any but the most narrowly defined fields is impossible, and even within those fields nominally standard vocabularies will be used differently by rapidly-dividing "cultural" subgroups within the workers in the field.

The semantic web is doomed to fail because language is far more highly personalized than anyone wants to believe. I think this is a good thing, because the only way to impose standardized meanings on terms would be to impose standardized thinking on people, and if that were possible someone would have done it by now. Whereas we know, despite millennia of attempts, no such standardization is possible, except in very small groups over a very specialized range of concepts.

If it can't be defined it can't succeed (2, Interesting)

duncanFrance (140184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427173)

Go to Wikipedia (for example) and look up the definition. Then tell me you understand it.

See? Not a hope that a concept which includes 'collaborative working groups' as part of its definition can ever succeed.

I mean these are the people which gave us HTML and CSS, god help us.

Meaning is derived by humans from the interaction between data, knowledge and dialogue. What the semantic web will give us is:

1) Data
2) Limited knowledge to the extent that common, sufficiently rich models of relationships, taxonomies and ontologies are applied to the data.
3) No dialogue. When Google can say 'hello Mr I see you have a page called ... which is marked up as being about Mini Coopers. I'm looking for stuff about 1964 Cooper S inlet manifold modifications. This page looks like it might be interesting to my client, but quite a lot of people get confused between the different models of SU carburettor which were used that year. Does this page refer to the model with the No.4 Red needle or not?'

And get a sensible reply.

Which it understands.

Then I'll be interested. Until then all it will be is tagging but with a poncy name and a load of spurious academic nonsense being spouted around it to make it sound exciting.

Re:If it can't be defined it can't succeed (1)

tbriggs6 (816403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427427)

And how many people sat around and said, "when someone can deliver information over the internet without requiring special readers and a PhD in CS to use, I'll be interested." And of that set of people, how many were successful in the explosive growth of the internet vs. being steamrolled or back-shelved. This is the attitude that I see so prevalent on Slashdot regarding this topics. Why not take some time to at least consider the alternatives.

Whooooaaaa... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427185)

the Semantic Web Will Fail...Google will turn off its search API...will also cripple Web 3.0...the terrorists will win

Will these problems go away when we smoke even more crack? Or is this just another slownewsday item?

One word: SPAM (5, Insightful)

ngunton (460215) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427247)

The thing the academics who push the semantic web fail to consider (most of the time) is that the Real World does not function like their Ideal World. In the Ideal World, everybody cooperates and works together to produce something of value for all mankind. So we get lots of correctly and appropriately marked up pages that give useful information on what's stored therein.

But in the Real World, any online system that is used by a large enough number of people will eventually become attractive for spammers and scammers to defile and twist to their own purposes. So you'll get a deluge of pages that appear to be useful reviews of digital cameras (and are marked up as such) but in fact simply go to a useless "search" page that has lots of link farm references.

And if you say "Ok, so we don't trust the author of the page, we have someone else do it"... then who? Who's going to do all the work? Answer: Nobody. AI is nowhere near being smart enough for this. Keyword searching is, unfortunately, here to stay. If you trust the author to do the markup, then the spammers have a field day. If you say "Only trusted authors" then the system will still fail, due to laziness on most people's part - if a system isn't trivial to implement and involves some kind of "authentication" or "authorization" then nobody will use it, period. The Web succeeded in the first place because anybody anywhere could just stick up a Web server and publish pages, and it was immediately visible to the whole world.

The Semantic Web will fail for the same reason that the "meta" tag failed in HTML: Any system that can be abused by spammers, will be abused.

So, the Semantic Web, which is all about helping people find stuff, will fail. Not because of any technological shortcomings (it's all very nice in theory), but simply because we as people won't work together to make it work. Well, a small number of people could work together, but as that number got larger, until it reaches the point of being useful, it will automatically get to the tipping point where it becomes worthwhile for the spammers to jump in and foul it all up.

Re:One word: SPAM (2, Insightful)

Arslan ibn Da'ud (636514) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427863)

s/Semantic Web/Wikipedia/g;

I believe all your arguments have been used to explain why Wikipedia will fail. Well, it hasn't failed yet.

Re:One word: SPAM (1)

bbtom (581232) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428089)

Whitelisting and search personalization. When your search engine is giving priority to people you know and trust and sites they say they trust then the spam problem is significantly lessened. The OpenID community are already using OpenID as a spam whitelisting mechanism. In the Semantic Web layer cake [] , there is a layer called Trust, which is based on a combination of the RDF stack and document signing and encryption. Even if that isn't the way it's approached, Trust is something that SemWeb people are concerned with. I'm in the middle of designing a SemWebby tool (can't explain it here because I haven't decided whether it's going to be free, commercial or open source etc.) and how trust is dealt with is important.

Currently, Google is the thing to spam - you pick some keywords and you try to spam them. A highly personalized version of Google that uses your friends and colleagues attention data will be a lot harder to spam. With the Semantic Web, yes, people will lie. But if people find out they lie, they can put them on a "liar's list" - just as you do mentally in real life. People lie in databases, people lie on their blogs, people lie in real life. If you expect the Semantic Web to solve a common trait that is present in a large chunk of humanity, then you need to rethink your assumptions about the Semantic Web. :)

Obvious (2, Insightful)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427263)

The Semantic Web is a solution in search of a problem.

No matter how cool your RDF/OWL ontologies are, the real world is perfectly happy with plain XML/CSV. If there isn't an obvious benefit, people won't switch.

Re:Obvious (1)

bbtom (581232) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428379)

Have you seen GRDDL [] ? It's a way of producing RDF/XML data from "plain XML" (although not plain CSV...), and XHTML too (and HTML if you run stuff through Tidy). It's typically W3C - a big long document to explain 'XML+XSLT=RDF', but it's pretty neat nonetheless. Anything that's even vaguely structured can be turned in to RDF very easily. The W3C made a mistake in thinking that RDF etc. would be picked up straight out of the gate in 1999 (when RDF was standardised) - instead, it's taking a rather bending path towards popularity.

There is lots of interesting stuff going on just below the surface, but because it is going on below the surface, it's very easy for people to say there's nothing going on. I have to strongly disagree with Stephen's post. If the MySpaces of the world don't want to expose APIs, that's their prerogative. It'll be uppity programmers who'll write screen scrapers to get them on the semantic web whether they want to be there or not! The market will ebb and flow, and eventually MySpace will be as dead as all the other social networks that sit on the scrapheap of the 'net. Software competes on a lot of things - features being one of them. On the Internet, a site which lets you export your data will be more valuable to the (intelligent) user than one that doesn't. As for the stupid user, well, that's a problem that the Semantic Web can't solve. Stupidity, like lying, is a problem that no amount of W3C standards can solve.

Other Market (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427275)

Maybe these things will fail in the public world of free service bureaus with which this guy is familiar, but the concept of webservice API is exploding in the vertical market spaces. In only the last two or three years virtually every single vendor my company works with in the financial industry has launched fully WSE compliant webservices to tie into their products. Previously you would have to work in batch by uploading a file to a secure FTP site and wait for results to appear as another file in that same FTP site. Now the results are real-time.

Companies are certainly embracing the new standards (and yes, there are standards) and they are certainly using them to replace existing older protocols and there is a lot of money to be made in this field.

Skilled Writer (1)

endianx (1006895) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427357)

+1 for figuring out how to bash Libertarians and Republicans in an article about the Internet; a task not easily accomplished.

I mostly agree with the article though. Companies will not adopt these technologies until it starts to cost them business. This article assumes, though, that will never happen. I disagree. I think things will move slow at first, but will start to see use more and more. Like all internet technologies, the more they are used, the more people are likely to use them.

One other thing ... (1)

FonkiE (28352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427393)

After it would work the academic way. It would be spammed to hell.

Who do you trust giving away the right semantics for a page?

Maybe a handful of companies will trust each other. Or google will make them sign something?

Not a WEB I'm part of I guess.

You FAIL It? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427477)

semantic horizon (1)

cies (318343) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427493)

this semantic web is not made for today or yesterday: it is made for the future. of course there are obstacles. but if the amount of available online content grows as rapidly as predicted we need a better way to find what we want: we need machine understandable annotations.

so the semantic web fails right now. but your google queries fail you in the future, then what? maybe then the semantic web will also make sense to to the guy who wrote this article.

Re:semantic horizon (1)

Jon Peterson (1443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428167)

we need machine understandable annotations.

Well, until computers become intelligent, they aren't going to ever understand anything, and that's the problem.

Inference isn't understanding. If I tell a computer that "milk" IS A "dairy product" AND "dairy product" COMES FROM "Cow", then, yippee, the computer 'understands' that milk is comes from cows.

But that doesn't help the computer to know what the adjective 'milky' means. It surely does NOT mean 'similar or pertaining to that which comes from cows', or else I could truthfully say 'cow dung is milky', which I can't. The fact is that the linguistic move from noun milk to adjective milky carries with it a vast and subtle payload of meaning that cannot be captured in ontologies. The semantic web fails to address this in any way.

Even ignoring some very basic linguistic problems, people don't agree on the facts. For some people, powdered milk is a dairy product, and is a sub-class of milk. Chef's, for instance, might think that. For others it's not a diary product and is a sub-class of 'dessicated foodstuffs'. Warehouse managers, for instance, might think that.

So, problem number two is that these ontologies (which are basically large clumps of facts and relations about and between classes and instances of things) can only ever be agreed on in narrow domains. And from practical experience, those domains are really very narrow indeed. Not domains like 'medicine' or even 'surgery', but perhaps 'heart surgery'

Now, the semantic web recognises this second problem, of ontologies only working for narrow domains, although I think most proponents fail to realise just how narrow the domains are. The first issue, of deductive reasoning not being very useful, is entirely ignored as far as I can tell.

Why I hope people stop calling Web 2.0 the SW (1)

tbriggs6 (816403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427567)

First, the current Web 2.0={Facebook, Blogs, Tagging, Mashups, ... } is NOT the end of the Semantic Web. What tiny bit of SW technology that has leaked into the infrastructure of these technologies is a tiny fraction of the capabilities of this technology. In fact, I am amazed and appalled at the general reaction of the slashdot community. The general consensus is that this couldn't possibly work because it will require "corporations" to come together (ironic given the etnymology of the word corporation). The same could be said of the early Linux community. That Linus Torvalds is never going to amount to anything because his new OS will require people all over the place to agree on standards (the kernel) and to cooperate in a huge development process that has never been tried on this scale before. I'm quite certain that Linux is just a passing fancy. Seriously though, today's computing paradigm sucks. I spend most of my time working on stupid technical problems instead of actually working on the hard research issues I am trying to focus on. Case in point, I spent the weekend trying to get JDBC and/or PERL to insert a long string into a CLOB of XMLType with Oracle. Why? Because the agent I developed was performing tests and producing result sets in XML, and it would be handy to store in Oracle. In the end, I spent more time solving the "how do I do this stupid task" than working on the actual research issues of the project. In other cases, we (as a community) still spend our time worrying about little bits of a the technical minutiae. One of the things that draws my interested toward the Semantic Web is that it won't work on today's computing paradigm. It isn't going to be successful so long as we are worried about connecting this SQL query to that CGI script, and discussing how we screen scrape that HTML page and extract that information from a CDF file. These are the things we have been doing since the first magentic tapes were sent in the mail to be read by some other system. I think it is time that we start moving on and looking forward to what the next generation of computing CAN do. Yes, there are significant technical challenges ahead. Yes, there will be false starts and probably a high infant mortality rate as we move forward. Already there have been numerous Semantic Web languages (e.g. DAML+OIL) that are being replaced by others (e.g. OWL), and already the research community is pushing a new version of OWL to include in its definition things which we cannot do today. I guess if anything, I am encouraged by the stalwarts of today's technology calling for the impending implosion of the Semantic Web. It means that the research community has pushed so far to the edge of what We (as a species) are currently capable of that only visionaries (not including myself in this set) can see the whole picture. This is good. This represents the first honest See-change in the future of computing that I've seen in years. So, if anything, keep calling for its demise. Keep predicting its death. One day, when the research moves it from science to technology, you will be excited about how cool this new technology is, and Slashdot will be filled with discussions of how Microsoft's implementation of the Semantic Web is terrible, and how the OSS version of a Semantic Web database is 5% faster than Oracle's. And there will be some comfort in knowing that all is right in the world after all.

So what you're saying... (1)

Luke Dawson (956412) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427621) that it is this "free market" we live in that will ultimately make the semantic web a non-starter. Businesses won't collaborate because it doesn't afford them a competitive edge. In the end the real losers are we, the great unwashed. Not that a free market is a bad thing, it just doesn't always align with what's in the peoples' best interests.

Why will fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427703)

it will fail because nobody apart from the academics and hippies who invented know wtf it actually means.

Human Language (1)

pfortuny (857713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427709)

To me, that sounds the same as saying
"human language will never succeed".

OK, there may not be ONE and DEFINITIVE semantic web,
there may be MANY.

Better for the users. Like free market, you know?

Moreover, you can see the different languages both
as a problem and as a treasure. Depends on the point
of view...

Flickr? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427797)

The Flickr thing was a non-issue, how does it have anything to do with the Semantic Web?

The Semantic Web May Fail... (1)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427819)

... but not for the reasons the researcher cited.

It's relative (2, Insightful)

tbannist (230135) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428041)

This is the real world, most things aren't total successes or total failures.

Most likely the symantic web will fail to achieve all it's objectives but achieve some of them, and may eventually rise again after it's failed. This is the nature of progress. Good ideas that fail are usually resurrected later. However the blogger is probably right, as long as the symantic web is going to be "handed" to us by a group of established corporations it will most likely never succeed, there's too much incentive for back stabbing in that top-down implementation. For it to succeed it needs to be so obvious that there's more money and power available by playing nice that all but the most black hearted capitalists will play nice. We have to be aware that people like spammers exist, though, and anything that could potentially be used to generate advantage will be abused to death.

The real reason = Security (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428333)

The more functionality and interactivity you have between what were always envisioned as static documents, the more security holes are opened up. This combined with the Search Engine Optimization Industry, which is dedicated to lying about a sites content and relative importance, will ultimately sink any attempt to bring any trustable semanticness to the Web.

Re:The real reason = Security (1)

bbtom (581232) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428445)

The flipside to this is that the more 'varied' user agents are, the less susceptible they are to exploits. The Semantic Web - broadly understood - could find solutions to SEO. Search personalization and recommendation systems can go some way to neutralize SEO. My inbox on gets no spam at all, because the only people who can post things to it are people I trust. A web based on 'subscriptions' and pubic expressions of 'trust' will be a lot harder to spam and SEO.

Anti-semantism (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428361)

I categorically condemn these anti-semantic comments. There is no place in our modern, advanced society for bigots like these blatant anti-semantites. Someone should alert the ACLU.

As spoken by an anonymous coward last time... (1)

Morgor (542294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428531)

Will this mean that I will never be able to search for "Girls with breasts bigger than 36D"?

Sighs... (1)

Grismar (840501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428677)

I used to love semantic Web 5.1, but I'm sorry to say it can't even handle the simplest Word. I wonder who will make the Web Perfect? We need a Novell idea, I think.
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