The Semantic Advantage

July 9, 2009

What is the Semantic Web all about?

Filed under: semantic technology — Phil Murray @ 12:22 pm

Best quick read on the Semantic Web I’ve seen in a long time — by James Hendler, an expert and innovator in computer ontologies himself:

What is the Semantic Web all about?

Hendler was co-author of the Scientific American article that was primarily responsible for bringing Tim Berners-Lee’s ideas to a much broader audience, so he brings much more authority to his observations than, well, just about everyone else except Tim B-L himself.

Among the best information points and assessments in the brief post:

  • A brief description of his own work on Simple HTML Ontology Extensions, which preceded formalization of the Semantic Web.
  • A very brief history of the Semantic Web itself, including its DARPA funding.
  • His distinctions among “linked data,” “Web 3.0,” and the “Semantic Web.”

Required reading if you want to talk sensibly about the Semantic Web and semantic technologies and practices in general.

This is also a good time for me to remind people of another item on my list of required readings: Barry Smith and Chris Welty, “Ontology: Towards a New Synthesis.” Available at

Also brief and clear.


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