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  Technical Report: How to Make a Semantic Web Browser

How to Make a Semantic Web Browser

Technical Report #:04-04
Author(s): Dennis Quan
Category(s):User Interfaces, Semantic Web, RDF, Web Services, bioinformatics
Full Citation:World Wide Web Conference 2004.
New York, New York
May 2004
Copyright 2004, IBM. All rights reserved.


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Two important architectural choices underlie the success of the Web: numerous, independently operated servers speak a common protocol, and a single type of client—the Web browser—provides point-and-click access to the content and services on these decentralized servers. However, because HTML marries content and presentation into a single representation, end users are often stuck with inappropriate choices made by the Web site designer of how to work with and view the content. RDF metadata on the Semantic Web does not have this limitation: users can access the underlying information and control how it is presented for themselves. This principle forms the basis for our Semantic Web browser—an end-user application that automatically locates metadata and assembles point-and-click interfaces from a combination of relevant information, ontological specifications, and presentation knowledge, all described in RDF and retrieved dynamically from the Semantic Web. With such a tool, nave users can begin to discover, explore, and use Semantic Web data and services. Because data and services are accessed directly through a standalone client rather than through a central point of access (e.g., a portal), new content and services can be consumed as soon as they become available. In this way we take advantage of an important sociological force that encourages the production of new Semantic Web content by remaining faithful to the decentralized nature of the Web.

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