Scientific American features the Semantic Web
20:02, 11 Apr 2001 UTC | Edd Dumbill

Tim Berners-Lee, Ora Lassila and Jim Hendler have published a feature on the Semantic Web in May's edition of Scientific American.

Once you've struggled through the obligatory computers-will-run-your-life rhetoric, the article is a good overview of the W3C's Semantic Web vision and plans:

The Semantic Web is not a separate Web but an extension of the current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation.

Berners-Lee, Lassila and Hendler explain that the Semantic Web is to knowledge representation what the Web was to hypertext.

Semantic Web researchers, in contrast, accept that paradoxes and unanswerable questions are a price that must be paid to achieve versatility. We make the language for the rules as expressive as needed to allow the Web to reason as widely as desired.

The article has attracted a good deal of attention on geek web site Slashdot, and it may be instructive (definitely entertaining) for XML and RDF enthusiasts to read the comments made by the hacker community at large.

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