This short documentary from Kate Ray does a great job of capturing the promise of the Semantic Web vision as well as some of the skepticism surrounding it. To me, the only real problem lies in our expectation that some kind of reality will congeal as quickly as Web 2.0. The scope of the problems demanding a Semantic Web are broader, deeper, and more sophisticated. Yet, the gravity of the solution domain is much more significant.
The Semantic Web is emerging now. Tools and technologies have emerged in support of it that are useful and usable today. If you’re interested, but unfamiliar with Linked Data and Semantic Web concepts, I highly recommend you review Getting Started with Semantics, a set of lessons from Cambridge Semantics. You might also be interested in some older stuff I created several years ago for Semantic Focus called Introduction to Semantic Web Vision and Technologies, which is still applicable.
Being a member of the World Wide Web consortium has taught me a lot about Web standards and the process through which they’re made. But probably the most important thing I’ve learned from membership in the W3C is that you don’t actually have to be a member to participate. The Web really is ours and the W3C process for defining Web standards is very open and inclusive. Watch this video to learn why Web standard are important, then get involved in the ongoing evolution of our Web at w3.org/participate.
Of all the principles of programming, Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) is perhaps one of the most fundamental. The principle was formulated by Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas in The Pragmatic Programmer, and underlies many other well-known software development best practices and design patterns. The developer who learns to recognize duplication, and understands how to eliminate it through appropriate practice and proper abstraction, can produce much cleaner code than one who continuously infects the application with unnecessary repetition.
If you’re a blogger who likes to share what you learn, a developer who likes to write good documentation, or a technical writer of any sort, there are two semantic elements in HTML5 that you should get acquainted with:
kbd element represents user input. The
samp element represents sample computer output. You can use these tags to express meaning so that client browsers and search engines might process your document more effectively. But what’s more immediately useful is to style the elements with CSS so that meaning is also expressed visually for your readers. In this post, I’ll show you how.
This October, Google Design open-sourced 750 glyphs as part of the Material Design system icons pack. The set contains icons for media playback, communication, content editing, connectivity, and more. They’re handy for Android and iOS apps in addition to web.
At some point every programmer will need to refactor existing code. But before you do, please consider the following suggestions by Rajith Attapattu in "Before You Refactor" from the book 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know. These suggestions may help save you and others a great deal of time (and pain).