Re: [RDA-L] RDA/FRBR and the Business Case; Was:RDA as the collaboratively created way forward[?]

Posting to RDA-L

On 16/03/2012 14:47, Brenndorfer, Thomas wrote:


The world is moving on and leaving FISO behind. For instance, “find” is turning into “search” which means >creating an “intelligent agent” for our information needs. That is what Tim Berners-Lee wants and is one of the >primary goals of the Semantic Web, and supposedly, one of the main reasons for RDA and FRBR in the first place.

No, that’s flat out wrong– the Semantic Web is about bringing back “find” because “search” is not enough. Quote from Tim Berners-Lee himself: “Does this mean that they [search engines] will start to absorb the whole RDF data model? If they do, then they will be able to start pulling all of the linked data cloud in. Will they know what to do with it? Because when it’s data in a very organized form, I think some people have been misunderstanding the Semantic Web as being something that tries to make a better search engine – i.e. when you type something into a little box. But of course the great thing about the Semantic Web is that you can query it, you can ask a complicated query of the Semantic Web, like a SQL query (we call it a SPARQL query), and that’s such a different thing to be able to do. It really doesn’t compare to a search engine.” Querying that kind of structure requires an entity-relationship model. That’s why RDA was written to support the entity-relationship framework.

Sorry, I disagree that I am flat-out wrong, but it’s not a search engine that TBL envisions. It’s an intelligent agent that does all the searching and sifting for you based on the totality of what is on the Semantic Web, including whatever is there about you. You might have to reset it once in awhile but otherwise, it runs for you constantly. Search engines don’t have much if anything to do with it. The intelligent agents do it all for you. Lots of people absolutely love this idea, but as I mentioned in the podcast, in a lot of ways, it gives me the creeps.

We don’t know if this is what people will want. Nobody does. Perhaps after Google rolls out their Semantic Web tools, we may all get a better idea if it actually works or not. In the meantime, put our records in RDF so that they can be shared–that’s fine. We don’t need FRBR structures to do it. We should have done it long ago. Give it a try and see what happens. It may be useful and we’ll learn a lot. Or it may not make any difference at all. As I said, nobody knows, so let’s not bet too much on it.