Comments on semantic web posts

I feel a few notes are in order to explain some of the dense splurge of technical internet posts over the last few days. A few things have come together this week prodding my thoughts in that direction, and as a result I have been pondering the topic of information over the last week.

The last essay is unlikely to be of interest to anyone except me, and even I am not especially excited about the dry subject matter, but it did help me get some thinking down and clear my brain. However many maths questions I seem to do, I can’t quite shake all the related trains of thought in every lunchbreak and into the night.

The two big items of news I have come across are HTML5 in Firefox 4 (mentioned before), and the realisation that good semantic web practices are not dead in the water with the release of This is really genuinely exciting, a government project that is using real, good, RDF to collect together all the data the government handles, on schools, water, health, the lot, and allow useful access to it. It is one of the only government IT success stories recently, and is worth putting looking at to put your confidence back in the web as a non-broken way of exchanging and working with data. At the user endpoint, it is very hard to see how Friend Of A Friend ontologies are going to change the social internet, or that hope in rich metadata to change anything in feed readers is anything but misplaced. The work the professionals do behind the scenes in the ONS and related departments though is really pushing this forward and it is worth having some confidence in it. Perhaps, just perhaps, when the big users like governments have finally got the tools in place, people like Google can start doing great stuff making things interoperable for us.


These are all pretty affirming treatments. I have not read any of them beyond a brief glance, as I am just dipping my toes in this water and will not return until the summer, but offer these as an uniformed suggestion of related sources for further investigation.