About Data



These days, I’ve been working with data, by that I mean A LOT. In a few different circumstances : at the Uni/at work/as a favour. The result is that I have to deal with so much data in so much different formats, in different storages, in different organisations and different structures. I have never had problems with that but not until this week. In the past, one of my colleagues was surprised when I showed him that I can do database normalisation in my head for a few seconds (no need to write everything down and think about it for hours).

In a perfect world, you should be able to get all the data where you want it and when you want it. Unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect as you know… Here, it’s all about compatibility, currently nothing isn’t compatible with nothing. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get what you need with just a simple convert, but that’s very rear.

And here is where the Semantic Web comes. The whole idea is to make the web and all the information readable for computers, not just for people. This is what, all of us, the web experts and web scientists are working on now. But it’s still just a dream.

The way to get to that point is by strict standardisation. The first step was in 1996, when XML was born. After this XML was implemented into HTML and XHTML was born, but as you know XHTML doesn’t tell us anything about the data that the XHTML document contains. Computers can’t understand it, only human can read it.

One day, in the future, we will see this dream come true. Computers will be able to understand all that data on the web and this will help us, the people a lot.