Bottoms-Up Semantics by Agile XML

On XML.com, Micah Dubinko summarizes some interesting conversations surrounding agile development and XML. I think there is something to the “agile development” idea. It’s kind of like bottoms-up, instead of top-down. The top-down approach, of course, is the Semantic Web. In particular, the technology RDF. RDF was created for knowledge representation, and if you scroll […]

On XML.com, Micah Dubinko summarizes some interesting conversations surrounding agile development and XML.

I think there is something to the “agile development” idea. It’s kind of like bottoms-up, instead of top-down.

The top-down approach, of course, is the Semantic Web. In particular, the technology RDF. RDF was created for knowledge representation, and if you scroll down a bit on the Semantic Web roadmap you’ll come to a graph that shows you an idea of how that works. You can make assertions about things, using subjects, verbs, and objects.

The problem is that this is over the heads of most people, including myself. I think it is wonderfully interesting, but I couldn’t build a system with it. I wonder if this is the general feeling…for one thing we have no great application showing the value of this. I think we will eventually, but developers often need to see the end-goal before something really catches on.

So, in the meantime we’ll use agile formats that slowly build toward the vision outlined by the Tim Berners-Lee and the Semantic Web folks. We’ll use Relax NG over XML Schema, and RSS over XHTML. How many of you browse nowadays without seeing any XHTML documents, other than the snippets embedded in an RSS file?

Published: September 1st, 2005

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