In February I gave a tutorial and a talk at the most awesome conference ever (go Tash!) called Webstock, in Wellington, New Zealand. The talk was called Why Semantics, and was essentially about the ideas behind the semantic web and why they’re interesting to normal working developers. After I gave the talk, I had several famous (at least to me) developers tell me that they finally got it, had made many of the data-modeling mistakes that I outlined, and no longer thought the Semantic Web was all hype.
The video was just uploaded to Vimeo by the Webstock team:
(if the embed isn’t showing, you can find the video here)
And here’s the abstract:
Ever since there was a web, people have been talking about the “semantic web”, which is always just around the corner. Even though this hasn’t exactly gone to plan, people working on the ideas behind semantic data modeling have actually come up with a lot of cool stuff.
Modern web development is very concerned with rapid iteration, which has led to the increasing popularity of lightweight frameworks built on dynamic languages such as Rails, Pylons and Django. However, most of us are still stuck using traditional data-modeling methods like relational databases which aren’t designed for constant schema changes. Further, because people don’t think about “standard” ways to share data, there are thousands of different web APIs, all of which have to be dealt with separately.
In this talk Toby will explain what “semantic data” is, how entities and data can be modeled using graphs, and show examples of modeling, integrating, and extending data models for large datasets. You’ll lean how the semantic models support rapid and iterative application development, and easy integration of existing databases. Toby will introduce fast scalable back-ends for storing and querying semantic data and show examples of semantic data already available on the web.
He’ll also briefly discuss how these approaches lead into the standards-based Semantic Web, and how attendees can find short-term value in adopting some of the Semantic Web standards and platforms.
Enjoy! Let me know what you think.
Update: You can find a PDF of the slides here.