Basic Idea
  • The Semantic Web is a very complex idea. Before anything else, it is always helpful to first understand what is the basic idea behind it;
  • Tim Berners-Lee is the inventor of the current Web, he was also the first one to promote the idea of the Semantic Web;
  • The idea of the Semantic Web was formally introduced by the article published by the May 2001 issue of Scientific American, by Berners-Lee and his colleagues;
  • I recommend that you read this article, so that you understand the original thinking and expectations behind the idea of the Semantic Web;
  • In my books, a whole chapter is devoted (including a motivating example) for you to understand the idea of the Semantic Web, because having a good start is perhaps vital for your continuing effort learning the Semantic Web.
Basic Components of the Semantic Web Standards
  • W3C has a semantic web group. After more than 10 years' work, it has published a collection of standards for the Semantic Web;
  • These standards have now become the key components for the Semantic Web, and learning the Semantic Web, to some extend, is to learn all these important standards;
  • RDF, RDFS, OWL2, SPARQL1.1 and RDB2RDF are examples of these standards, and there are quite a few more not listed here;
  • My books provide in-depth coverage for all these core standards, with step-by-step coding examples to help the readers to understand these standards. For example, A Developer's Guide to the Semantic Web, 2nd edition, has more 400 pages covering and explaining these standards;
  • It requires some patience and perseverance to learn all these components. However, it is also the process from which you can gain more understanding about the Semantic Web. Use my books, they will make your learning much easier.
Basic Tools and Coding Examples
  • Once you have obtained some basic understanding about the Semantic Web, it is important to get some hands-on experience by doing real coding work;
  • For the past 10 years, there have been lots of development tools invented for your development work on the Semantic Web;
  • One such tool is called Jena, and it is perhaps the most popular tool used by the developers. If you want to start with a tool, start with Jena;
  • My books provide a separate charter discussing popular available tools for your development work, it also has a chapter focusing on Jena, so that you can use it witout any trouble;
  • To show you more in-depth development, My books use Jena to build several fully-functional applications: a search engine that supports rich snippets, a web agent that can "follow your nose", a smart email agent that can build a "circle of trust"; and finally, a shopbot that works on the Semantic web;
  • Al these example projects can be readily downloaded from here, and more importantly, they together show you the How-To side of the Semantic Web.
Real-world Application Examples
  • It is important to understand how the real world has been embracing the idea of the Semantic Web, and what are the application examples in our lives;
  • In the middle of 2011, Bing, Google and Yahoo together published schema.org, a ontology that supports "common concepts" in real life. This has been seen as the start of the mainstream support for the Semantic Web;
  • Focusing on real-world support and applications, A Developer's Guide to the Semantic Web, 2nd edition, has added 5 new chapters, covering schema.org in details, and the following applications that are directly built upon schema.org or related semantic web ideas: Google's rich snippets, Facebook's OGP, Twitter's twitter card, Pinterest's rich pins, Wikipedia's wikidata, US government's data.gov and finally, the LRMI project;
  • The coverage provided by A Developer's Guide to the Semantic Web, 2nd edition will give you a clear understanding about how exactly the idea of the Semantic Web has been used in these applications. Hopefully, these examples can be used as a springboard for ideas for your own development work on the Semantic Web.
Finally...
  • Hope by now, you are motivated enough to start your journey learning the Semantic Web;
  • If you have questions, or have trouble understanding the materials presented in the book, contact me.
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