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REST, née Semantic Web

I keep hearing about the Semantic Web, and it occurs to me that I still don’t undersand. Isn’t this just REST?

In the semantic web, you put up a document and name some parts of it, using RDF. Those parts are the “things they’re about,” which is what’s important. Then you link different things together with OWL, throw it at your Syllogism Engine, and you know that Clay Shirky speaks with a Brooklyn accent.

Contrariwise, in a RESTful Architecture, you put up a document and give it a URI. That document is the thing you’re talkng about, and it’s what’s important. Next, you link documents together with hyperlinks (with, of course, proper rel and rev attributes), throw it at your client, and you know that Mt. Rushmore is in North Dakota.

Yes, the technologies you use are different, but the end goal is the same, right? We define objects and links, and we let the computer navigate through them all. There’s a few others thinking along the same lines.

The question then becomes: why go to all the trouble of using OWL, when what we have now, properly done, will do just fine?