Simon Willison’s Weblog

The semantic web explained

What the frell is the Semantic Web? (via tidakada):

Imagine a document containing exactly all of the same info your weblog page presents—only the data is completely, easily accessible to a robot in a universal, easily handled format.

Furthermore, imagine that the schema describing the data to be found on your page is in that same format. And then, imagine that the document describing the construction of schema is in that same format. And then imagine that the decomposition continues, all of the way down to base data types and relationships. Eventually, the whole thing rests on the back of a turtle—er I mean a sort of universal client.

This is the best introduction to the semantic web I’ve seen. I thought I’d “got it” after reading August 2009: How Google beat Amazon and Ebay to the Semantic Web but the idea of decomposing the relationships down to something universally understandable only just clicked (also thanks to a course on Logic and Semantics I am taking at University at the moment). I think I get RDF tuples now as well (there’s a good introduction in this document).

This is The semantic web explained by Simon Willison, posted on 3rd November 2002.

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