Sunday, December 19, 2004

Great Southern Land

A land of wasted web opportunity "Of the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) 368 members, only five are from Australia, says the head of W3C's international offices Ivan Herman, who was in Brisbane last week for a conference at the Distributed Systems Technology Centre (DSTC)."

""I often hear people in Australia say they are too small to do anything, they are happy to let the big guys in the US fight out the standards and they will just use them. I find this attitude strange because there is no reason for (it); the W3C tries to have a structure where any organisation can have their wishes heard," Herman says.

This attitude limits Australia's involvement in the development of the "semantic web", the next big e-commerce wave that promises to unleash a slew of new technologies, where computers on the internet can communicate data effortlessly with each other and therefore provide more useful applications. Whereas HTML was developed for humans to read websites, the semantic web puts computers in touch with each other so they can automatically exchange data, such as stock prices, weather forecasts, bus timetables, plane routes, and sports scores and GPS co-ordinates. It is envisaged that once these services are widely available that new applications and business opportunities will emerge."

It's basically correct, Australia is generally very conservative sprinkled with a bunch of very active people. Brisbane is doing okay, my GP is working on ontologies, libferris is made here, and of course Kowari/TKS. DSTC, UQ and QUT are all doing semantic web work, of course.
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