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Reportage from WWW 10

Peter Scott, Thursday 03 May 2001 | Annotate
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The 10th international world wide web conference is this week in Hong Kong (http://www10.org). It is running in conjunction here with the 7th Hong Kong Web Symposium (http://www.hkwebsym.org.hk/2001). And, spookily enough there is a big pan-Asia streaming media symposium running right next door!

After 10 years of the web, the ACM have finally granted this symposium an Education track and they were kind enough to invite me to open it on Day Two. BUT, it is so cool that I just had to mail in a short report after just Day One!

Tim Berners-Lee headed the big w3c contingent here (as he has for all of the past symposia, he reminded us!) His introductory keynote spent much of the time focusing on the semantic future of the web in which all our ontology researchers will be right at home! He even used the talk to formally announce the w3c recommendation on XML schemas. More on the critical nature he sees on DAML and OIL from w3c presently, which he was even happy to describe as ontologies (rule/query languages in RDF anyway!)

Much of his talk was given using SVG, using a GraphViz rendering of RDF (not for Tim the use of a proprietary like Flash, obviously! Actually I had an interesting coffee-discussion with one of his team about how Flash, is, and isnt, a suitable open standard and why therefore SVG would be better).

If you want to chase this up immediately then checkout: http://www.w3.org/2001/0501-tbl/ for the presentation.

The afternoon keynote was a Microsoft show at which they ran us through some very exciting features of IE 6 wrt the semantic web. (I will bring back a copy of Windows Xp, obviously but if you have seen Apples OS X then you have pretty much seen it already!!!)

Their demo of VisualStudio.Net was pretty cool too hooking up to some web-published xml services via ASP with drag and drop button and visual basic editing. Looked absurdly easy (they way they did it!)

But the real killer for me was Hailstorm - their new spin on personal XML services! They expect Hailstorm enabled servers to collect and share personal information which you will elect to give them (myProfile, myAddress, myApplicationSettings, myDevices, myDocuments, myContacts; myCalendar get the idea?!) They promise to solve issues such as privacy, quality-of-service, longevity-of-service and (naturally) billing for the XML services that Hailstormers will export and that you clients out there will subscribe to !!!! Whoah, enough already!

The only real horror is that this is one of these huge shows with more parallel sessions that the mind can comfortably countenance meaning that you need a dozen clones to make all the important pieces! (And there are only 5 other OU folk here) The next conference is scheduled for Hawaii next year if I cant persuade them to pay for me to talk there too, then I may just have to (gulp) use my own money - this is a very cool gig!

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Peter Scott

KMi Director

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