Wendy Hall and Nigel Shadbolt are involved in building Web Science Research Institute to promote study of Web Science. This institute is brain child of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the developer of basic concepts behind WWW and now championing Semantic Web. In addition to the above three, Daniel Weitzner of MIT is another co-director of the Institute. At WWW08 I had a chance to spend some good amount of time with Wendy, Niel, and Tim. Wendy is a friend from long time ago. Their interest and dedication in making sure that the Web keeps propagating in a right way is impressive.
In a dinner conversation with Tim, he emphasized the importance of simple and modular approaches to make sure that the Web keeps propgating to the next stage in which it benefits more people. In our discussion about EventWeb and related ideas, he felt that some work started on dealing with events but it needs to be done. An interesting point he made, which is different from many early supporters of Ontology development, is that in every area multiple ontologies will co-exist and even need to be developed from different groups. I like it because that makes ontologies a formal modeling approach and like other tools, this may allow semantics from one group in one context to be explicitly represented and then used accordingly. This perspective, if extended and practiced correctly, is very different than many traditional ontologists in the Web community.
I am eager to see how Web Science evolves. I do see many places struggling with issues related to the Web and how to bring them under a unified framework.
Yes almost everyone agrees to the fact that the Web evolves, but few take the progress of web evolution seriously. As a term, “web evolution” is commonly used. But the thing to be noticed here is that a few people really have thoughtfully considered the principles of web evolution, i.e. why and how the Web evolves. Even after the initiative of Web Science, web evolution, supposed to be a significant branch of Web Science, is still lack of mentioning. For example, Wikipedia, the most popular online encyclopedia, still does not contain an entry of web evolution till today; and we don’t know when this term will be added in the futureâ€¦!!
If you look at web 3.0, it talks widley about web evolution.
Well web 3.0 and web science can go together side by side although essential work on time to time is required such that a modern concept is easily and always implemented without much hassle.
Web Science institute sounds promising, I am looking forward to hear some unified framework is developed to incorporate the need of the entire web community.