I was recently invited to write a column for IEEE Internet Computing. Irresistable, a nice length/timescale ratio, and I'm a sucker for prestige. My first effort just got published : The Shortest Path to the Future Web.
Traveller: I'd like to find my way to "Semantic Web", please.
Bystander: Well... I wouldn't start from here.
That came up in discussions with some hardcore old-school Knowledge Representation logician folks, their argument being that the (Semantic) Web was no good for KR, and that we need to completely restart the net with something fancier (like Prolog or SQL). But there's a similar argument in the opposite direction that suggests that the Semantic Web is too remote from the current web. I disagree.
The main point I'm trying to make in the piece is that even if you remove RDF etc. from the picture, many of the Web 2.0ish developments are heading in pretty much the direction of the Semantic Web, and have the pragmatic virtue of being incremental rather than calling for leaps of faith. Good for all concerned. The piece got a bit longer than intended ( blab blab), so I've put the handwaving overview in this episode, will put some practical examples that I reckon support this stance in the next.
The column title is "Websense", as I said to the Ed. who
suggested it, it's the first time my name has ever been
associated with sense...