Thursday, December 25, 2008

Top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2008

ReadWriteWeb has posted an article on the 10 best Semantic Web products of 2008. The top two spots are taken by Yahoo and Microsoft. Yahoo! SearchMonkey is a search platform aiming at making the search better by leveraging web annotations. Microsoft acquired Powerset, a natural language processing search engine. Who has not made the list and maybe they should have: Twine by Radar Networks, which provides a new way of tracking, finding, and sharing content, all in one place.

Mobile Web Best Practices

W3C has posted earlier this year some guidelines regarding mobile web best practices.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Most Popular Android Applications for November 2008

FastCompany has published a post regarding the most popular Android Applications for November 2008:


Saturday, December 6, 2008

OpenID into Browsers, Browsers repllace OSs

A great post on O'Reilly Radar about getting OpenID into the browser. I find the idea fascinating: when you open your browser, it will ask you to unlock it by usign your OpenID information:

SOURCE: David Recordon on

As you start surfing the web, the browser will take care of automatically logging you into any website. Furthermore, it will help you with the registration process. Why is this not yet implemented?

Another (future) innovation is described in an article from DesktopLinux entitled "Browser swallows OS": when you boot your computer, instead of an OS-based environment, you would get a browser-based environment, like shown below:


Fascinating, isn't it? The company that provides the browser operating system (called Cloud) is gOS. As Enrique Ortiz has also mentioned in his post, similar ideas have been tried in the past, but they all failed. Maybe this time it will be different.

Mapping open source to mobile

VisionMobile published a report on the different open source technologies used in the mobile space, describing who is using open source, where they are using it, and how they are using it, a must read.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Semantic Web - Technology Maturity

I recently read an article about the golden age of software architecture written by Mary Shaw and Paul Clements. They have a section on how technologies mature, therefore I thought about where the Semantic Web is on that six-phase scale. I believe that the Semantic Web lies at the end of stage four, moving towards stage five. Here is why:

- Basic Research: Basic ideas and concepts have been investigated. The structure of the Semantic Web has been defined, and the different layers have been identified and described into details.
- Concept formulation: There is a wide research community available, which has refined the concepts available in the Semantic Web, converging on a set of ideas and continuously refining the structure of it.
- Development and Extension: Preliminary applications of the Semantic Web have been spotted since a couple of years. One of the first such applications has been Dublin Core, a vocabulary for distributed Digital Libraries.
- Internal enhancement and exploration: Semantic Web has been extended to other domains, such as biology, and has been used for real problems such as a better way to integrate and combine data. In addition, specific companies offer training. The problem is that the tools are not yet quite there in terms of usability, in terms of making it easy for the user.
- External enhancement and exploration: The problem here is that a broader community of people who are not developers is not involved. There are not a lot of companies that use Semantic Web technologies. There is yet to be shown a substantial evidence of value and applicability. In my opinion, better known companies need to use Semantic Web. If you look at Ajax, the technologies behind it were known for a long time; but before Google Maps used it, it was not adopted in a broad manner.
- Popularization: There are commercial products that use Semantic Web; hence, the technology has been marketed.

In conclusion, even though part of phase five and six are available, there are incomplete. Without broader support, without better tools, without making it easier for the user to understand and use the technology, it will never become popular. Furthermore, even if we were to teach Semantic Web in Universities, it would make little difference because the industry needs also to adopt it more openly and frequently.

I would love to hear from somebody who has more experience with the Semantic Web and maybe a different view on where it lies in the six-phase system.