I would also commend Mark Butler's "Is the Semantic Web hype?"   I am glad that he has updated his slides since I read it a while back while wrestling with the whole RDF vs XML question.  I wrote up my thoughts on my wiki:  I was specifically wrestling with the question of whether RDF would help solve the problem of interoperating among metadata specifications.  For instance, if I need to convert among between DC, MODS, and Amazon metadata;  among  METS, IMS Content Packaging and MPEG 21-2; between Microsoft Office 2003 XML and XML, where can I use RDF?   At that time I came up with the following conclusions:

  1. RDF is promising technology in spite of all the confusing hype around it.
  2. RDF is not a monolithic topic. RDF can be used independently of the Semantic Web. RDF is not inherently tied to XML.
  3. The RDF triple concept is a simple, elegant, and seemingly powerful one at its heart.
  4. RDF/XML is obscure to the uninitiated and makes it easy to confuse the relationship between RDF and XML.
  5. RDF Tools help a lot to make RDF understandable -- and usable.
  6. RSS 1.0 is a good place to start with RDF.
  7. Non-hype filled assessments of RDF and the somewhat related Semantic Web are hard to find.
  8. Blending RDF vocabularies is probably easier than blending XML vocabularies but it's not magic either! Some human must do the mapping of meanings between vocabularies.
  9. Too much abstraction and confusion might kill off RDF.
Not having taken a closer look since that time, I don't know whether I'd stand by those conclusions today.  I suspect that I would.

Bruce, have you tried the Piggy Bank 2 Firefox plugin-in?  I think that I will take a look at this time and suspect that it's a nice place to get into both RDF and Firefox.


Bruce D'Arcus wrote:
[log in to unmask]" type="cite">
On 7/9/05, Houghton,Andrew <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

There is an excellent presentation "Is the Semantic Web hype?" (7 March 2005) by Dr. Mark H. Butler of HP Labs Bristol Digital Media Systems Department.


Their conclusion is that RDF and XML are complementary technologies
(though they're seeing XML as a source for RDF, via XSLT).

Anyone that wants to play with an application of this (from SIMILE)
should install the Piggy Bank 2 Firefox plug-in.  They use a
combination of XSLT and Javascript to massage web data into RDF, and
then from there to do some magic with it.

Raymond Yee                            2195 Hearst (250-22)
Technology Architect                            UC Berkeley
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