SMW Summary

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If you entered an actor, you should see them below, they will also be present on other queries:

 BornDiedIs fromDied inDied of
Arnold Bush3 April 191120 July 1996EnglandHertfordshireDancing accident
Bob Herrelsmorm9 April 190720 August 1976London, UKMysterious causes
Bob Newhart1 June 1942United States
Christina Poulet14 April 190720 August 1976Somerset, UKStage fright
Katherine Cardiff11 April 190120 July 1996London, UKDancing accident
Paul Devonshire10 October 191110 September 1986Scotland, UKPolo accident


In these pages, you've seen how to build on the existing, widely available, hypertext web by adding re-usable data. Going from the flexibility of wikis, we've encoded re-usable information. There's no need to change database tables, and forms and views are easily created by anyone.

What hasn't been covered is re-using data across sites. Semantic Mediawiki extensions allow auto completion based on ontologies from other sites. So your site about actors could query a site about locations or causes of death in autocomplete fields. Semantic Mediawiki can also query and include data from external data sources such as comma separated files and databases (with login and password information).

While Semantic Mediawiki is just one approach to SemWeb, it practically builds on the underlying principles of wikis, specifically the most popular open source Wiki software that has many extensions and supporters and users. Including Wikipedia, and when Wikipedia flips a switch, all its data will become semantic (evidenced today in sites like DBPedia) and the culture will evolve to expect more and more refined and re-usable data.

Today we have a grab bag of standard Web components. Semantic Wikis should not be thought of as another element. The list of blogs, CMSs, calendars, etc, etc can all be rolled up into a semantic wiki, with re-use of information throughout — add an event to your blog posting, embed to-do items, create timelines combning goals and events, and so on.

Of course, other systems have and are gaining semantic features. But standard sites today are 'admin' managed. 'Users' on wiki sites also expect to participate more. They can create or augment data types and add their own views. They can use their own front ends to work with data. In fact, browsers tomorrow are expected to be more interactive and rely on server processing less — a server can just provide raw data, the application can be in the browser.

This yields other benefits. Today many sites don't pay much attention to accessibility — use of sites by people with reduced vision, for example. On a well designed site with good structure and cues, a person with disabilities can be greatly enabled, perhaps more so than people who just read a page from top to bottom. But on poorly designed sites, it can become extremely tedious or impossible to access data.

Well structured data using formats like RDF can allow alternative front ends for any use to be easily created, regardless of the ability of the source agency. A culture can be enabled with authentic transparency and participation.

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