Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I like seeing the tools we write being used in the real world. After all, what is the point otherwise? We are trying to create something useful, so it has to be applicable to use-cases that people really want. While my own specialty is Mulgara, this is just a tool for the semantic web. So I'm interested to see these use-cases, regardless of the underlying engine.

With this in mind, I enjoyed reading a post from Danny Ayers today. He describes using various data sources to solve a useful real-world query that he got from yet another source, to wit:
"Where can I buy firewood as a function of price and distance from where I am now?"

While I agree with Danny about the ability to put all of this together, I think he is a little optimistic about the effort to do so:
"... all the tech to answer the question on the Web is readily available as almost-commodity tools, not a lot of effort needed."

It would be nice to think that he is right, but I'm skeptical. Maybe I'm overestimating the effort. After all, I'm still a beginner at programming Ruby. :-)

My favorite line was last:
"Why would anyone put such data on the Web? Perhaps they might want to sell their wood."

BTW, of all the words in the US spelling system, the one that bothers me the most is "favorite". It just looks wrong somehow. Why this word bothers me more than "color", "optimize", or "bank check" is something I can't answer. :-)

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