[Editor’s Note: This week, Juan Sequeda is reporting in from the International Semantic Web Conference in Bonn, Germany]
The Semantic Web Death Match: Industry vs Academica vs Standards at ISWC this week consisted of 5 panelists and Jim Hendler as the moderator. Each panelist summarized their point of view in a short phrase:
- Martin Hepp (Don’t shoot the messenger: the Fall of Constantinople)
- Michael Hausenblas (Now we have the basement, let’s go for the floors and the roof!)
- Chris Welty (Standards aren’t bad, just misunderstood)
- Ivan Herman (Did We forget about the client-side web applications’ world?)
- Ian Horrocks (Maybe the Web is the wrong application…)
Ian Horrocks reminded that “…when the standards started, the web was a green field and then it exploded… We got on a standardization bandwagon because the past standards were successful”. He also noted that there are two types of standards: facilitating standards by the community and the industry standards.
Chris Welty stated that the Semantic Web is a success, but the W3C standards are badly misunderstood because standards have been created by academics, ignoring the industry needs. A basic failure has been to make standards without knowing the practice. For example, he said that RIF hasn’t been a success… yet.
Ivan Herman concurred that mistakes had been made.
Michael Hausenblas stated that we have over-promised and have under-delivered.
Martin Hepp played the “bad guy” stating that the W3C semantic web standards do not reach out into real web development communities. What he would like is at least turtle syntax and clean RDFa.
Ivan Herman stated that the main challenge is to get webmasters and app developers on board. Another point brought up was that W3C’s primers are not short and simple enough.
On the topic of schema.org, Ivan stated that Schema.org is doing things that the community has failed to agree on.
Chris Welty stated that having Google recognize the need for explicit semantics is a win hence schema.org is a success; the syntax is not that important.
The panel ended with Ian Horrocks stating that “we should be more positive.”