While people are struggling with understanding most of .NET Framework 2.0, the confusingly named .NET 3.0 came along and added interesting stuff to the never ending pile of things to read. Well, it doesn’t stop there.
Just like Web 2.0, The so called Web 3.0 is yet another buzzword with a hype machine. This time the buzzword is used to describe a future web where simple pages are replaced by documents containing semantic information, which can be processed and further refined.
The great minds of the web have already started thinking about the semantic web a long time ago (at least when measured in web time). Think of it as an extension of the existing web which opens up a lot of exciting opportunities. Microformats are a set of simple open data format standards used to embed semantics in HTML.
Unfortunately I see several obstacles for the semantic web. Much of it relies on data being valid. However, I read a report where close to 700 000 pages were tested, and over 93 % of them had syntax errors in the HTML. This does not include pages with invalid CSS and semantic errors.
Most web professionals have by now acknowledged the sad fact that the move to enforce well-formed markup on the web with XHTML has failed. The majority of HTML writers did not care, most likely because browsers still allowed their invalid code. Thus, the semantic web has to deal with invalid and badly written HTML/XHTML.
It will take a long time before the majority of pages use valid code, and it will take even longer for the semantic web to become reality.
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