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The Semantic Web is the W3C's grand vision of a more structured and machine-readable Web content and application environment, thanks largely to the benefits of XML, RDF, and new related specs.
Once implemented, automated tools will be able to use common sets of terms called ontologies to power services such as more accurate Web search, intelligent software agents, and knowledge management. OWL is used to publish and share ontologies on the Web.
There is a very old wise saying that says, when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do, is stop digging. The W3C has dug themselves a hole by publishing too many obscure standards to start with. They should be putting as much effort into going back and getting their own members to comply with the standards they already have on the books. They can not publish their way out of the mess.
Design, agreement, and publication of a standard is not the end of a standard, it is only the beginning. Instead, they rush of into yet more publications that no one will follow closely until it is too late. Then only those with monetary or vested interests will read them for what they can manipulate out of them.
The W3C is treating it's own documents as though they were a pie-in-the-sky dream -- treating them as if they were footnotes on the base of the statue of Liberty. As some altruistic vision that should be aspired too instead of required. When they are not ideals, they are the rules of the road: members need either comply or it's goodbye. They need to be true to what they put on paper. If they don't, then the next standard should be about removing those members from the W3C.
So now we have the W3C rushing head long into a new standard. They will be expending resources to shepherd the standard through the process. Expenses that would be put to better use else where to bring it's own founding members into compliance with what they have already got on the books.
You can blame it on the MTV generation or the growing numbers with attention deficient disorder. Fact is, the W3C needs to finish one thing before they start another or their own credibility will be beyond salvation.
I don't see how they expect anyone to start using this until they release an idiots guide to OWL. If there is one, I can't find it linked from any of their resources.
Am I right in thinking that they are providing new tags for use in web documents to identify the nature of a page, using rdf as a basis?
Are there any examples and practical applications out there?