Chapter 1. Preparing to Program a Semantic Web of Data

"The Semantic Web is not a separate Web but an extension of the current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation."

Tim Berners-Lee

Welcome to Semantic Web programming—a powerful way to access, use, and share information. Our approach gets you programming quickly through hands-on, practical examples. We maintain a programmer's perspective, not a philosopher's perspective, throughout the book. We focus on applying the Semantic Web to real-world solutions rather than long justifications and explanations.

First, we need to establish a Semantic Web programming foundation. This foundation orients you to this new technology with its jargon and its attitude. The foundation also provides a justification for your learning investment, an investment we do not take lightly.

Our approach and examples come from years of building Semantic Web applications. Our applications employ the Semantic Web to make useable sense out of large, distributed information found throughout the World Wide Web.

The objectives of this chapter are to:

  • Form a useful, pragmatic definition of the Semantic Web

  • Identify the major components of a Semantic Web application and describe how they relate to one another

  • Outline how the Semantic Web impacts programming applications

  • Detail the roadblocks, myths, and hype regarding the often misunderstood and misused term Semantic Web

  • Understand the origin and ...

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