• I just did a new install and I noticed on the instruction page a paragraph from Matt about WP as a Semantic Publishing Platform. I wanted to know in what sense this was being used; in other words, how is WP Semantic, what is being done, or on the roadmap, to make it moreso, etc.

    I did a search for ‘semantic’ in themes and got only four results. I did a search here and mostly got 3 and 4 year old posts like this one:

    So, can someone share with me the current state of WP as a Semantic platform? Or what ‘semantic’ means officially, to the people who run this show like Matt? Is there, or will there be, RDF and triplestores? etc.


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  • Thanks Ipstenu, but I was not looking for a definition. I am interested in examples of how WordPress fits the definition:

    The Semantic Web refers to the extension of the World Wide Web through the embedding of additional semantic metadata, using semantic data modelling techniques such as RDF and OWL.

    I mentioned RDF in my original post. Where is that in WP? Where is the embedded additional semantic data, and how much is there? What can it be used for/done with? It seems to me if you proclaim you are semantic at the top of the first page anyone sees while installing, there ought to be a fairly easy to find explanation of that somewhere. All I’m asking is: Where is it?
    I am an advocate of the semantic web. My site is called Semantic Law. I was delighted when I saw Matt’s message about wp being semantic. But what does that term mean at WP? If you’re going to take people into the Semantic future (or present, depending on how you look at it) I for one think you ought to lay that out for people somewhere, so those unfamiliar with the term can be brought up to speed, and those familiar can step on the accelerator. So again, I ask: Where is that?

    I was answering this:

    Or what ‘semantic’ means officially, to the people who run this show like Matt?

    Matt thinks in the compsci terms. Probably, I don’t know, I’ve never met the guy, but I hope to in Montreal, just to say thanks.

    There’s also this: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Semantics but that’s more the OTHER use of Semantics 😉

    It’s not that it’s a bad question, it’s just not an easy one to answer, and without knowing what YOU already know, it’s REALLY hard to know where to start. Semantic Web, in general, refers to Web 3.0, and what THAT means is a whole messy ball of wax.

    I mean, does this help: Every link has a relation on the Semantic Web. Each time a person create a link from a web page to another web page, it does much more than simply linking, and is in n fact, binding the Semantic Web. So Semantic Web Publishing would be considered, at a very basic level, the inherent auto-linking of posts to indexes to tags to categories to pages to comments to trackbacks etc etc.

    Then again, maybe you’re looking at it from the definition Google uses in XHTML (which WP is close to but not perfect). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_HTML

    Stop Googling ‘WordPress Semantic’ and start reading up on ‘Semantic Web’ 🙂 It’s a better start.

    Fair enough – if you’ll ask Matt in person when you meet him in Montreal.

    Here is my background on this issue. I was originally going to build my site on MediaWiki, for which there are now numerous semantic plug-ins, which allow one to run inline queries against the information in the site as if it were (itself) a relational database (instead of sitting on one). The example everyone uses is this: Imagine a site (and by the way, Wikipedia itself has shown little interest in using these semantic options) with two articles, one that is a list of cities with over 4 million in population and another of world capitals. You could run a query for world capitals with a population over 3 million and get Bonn in your results, even though there was no such article.

    Some of the other nice touches the plug ins have are making forms much “smarter” and detailed about the information it collects from new registrations. When I switched to wp I was excited to see the Semantic Platform, and given all the plug ins for MediaWiki, I expected to see the same thing here. There’s only one that I can find and it does not seem to have become popular.

    Anyway, I will do what I can with my own site semantics, and hope that Matt and the head office folks will do more to promote, explain, and expand wp’s semantic capabilities.

    Thx, it’s been nice chatting with you.

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