Semantic search, semantic Web… As of late, we’ve noticed the spiking interest in this branch of linguistics as it applies to the good ole Web. What’s next -- semantic blogging? Nah, not just yet. For now, the industry is moving to standardize some of the semantics and logistics of the OWL 2 Web Ontology Language.Apparently, the semantic Web is here, indeed. Seven OWL 2 drafts were published recently in an attempt to bring some organization to the semantical chaos. The OWL Working Group published seven documents relating to the OWL 2 that extends OWL, a core standard of the semantic Web.

Seven OWL 2 Dwarfs… Err, Drafts

New features were added per users’ requests to help software providers who are implementing related projects. The documents are: # "Structural Specification and Functional-Style Syntax" # "Direct Semantics" # "RDF-Based Semantics" (First Public Draft) # "Mapping to RDF Graphs" # "XML Serialization" # "Profiles" # "Conformance and Test Cases" (First Public Draft) The first three documents form the technical core of OWL 2, which has both traditional "direct" semantics (for OWL DL) and a new "RDF-based" semantics (for OWL Full). Documents 4 and 5 specify two different serializations for OWL ontologies: one based on RDF and one using XML. Document 6 defines useful subsets of OWL which may be easier to implement or may better meet certain performance requirements. Finally, document 7 specifies conformance and will later enumerate the OWL 2 test cases.

More to Come

The group plans to release five more documents that are currently in the works and aren’t yet ready for a public eye. Keep your finger on the pulse of Semantic Web Activity to stay abreast of new developments. The father of the WWW, Tim Berners-Lee, originally expressed the vision of the semantic Web as follows: “I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A ‘Semantic Web’, which should make this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The ‘intelligent agents’ people have touted for ages will finally materialize.” While it all sounds very Martin Luther King meets Men in Black, it looks like Berners-Lee’s dreams are coming true, and the industry is even putting a bureaucracy spin on the whole semantic Web by making it oh-so-pretty and standard for all to enjoy in a uniformed way. Just like in conformation dog shows, only the most handsome and best-structured ones win.