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I don't mean to get off on a rant here...

but I am really really fed up with the discussion about the Web's version numbers. All this energy is spent on a completely useless, stupid debate about something that first of all does not matter, and second, we are not talking about a single piece of software or a specification, so what's with the version numbers anyway. Is there going to be Web 2.1, followed by Web 2.2 (or perhaps 2.2 alpha)? Don't you people have better things to do?

I am assuming that all this really started when the term "Web 2.0" was coined. It is a marketing term for something that does not exist and has not even been defined all that clearly. It is hype. It has little, if anything to do with technology. It represents misguided thinking. The Web evolves, yet using some numbering would suggest that we are talking about a major new version. Good for marketing, I guess. Makes people who don't have a clue go "oh, I have to get me some of that new Web 2.0".

Perhaps that's why this is so frustrating to me: I am more interested in technology. I would like to think that the technologies I am working on will make - some day - people's lives easier and - forgive me if this sounds melodramatic - will make the World a Better Place (I heard Raj Reddy say something like this in his opening talk to the AAAI-1988 conference and it had quite an influence on me and my choice of a career). Given a goal such as that, let's just all try to work towards it, without letting others distract us with version numbers and other silly hype.

Don't even get me going on "3.0" anymore...

Of course, all this is just my opinion.

Posted by ora at 08:11


If you're so fed up with the discussion, then why do you engage in it? It's not like you have to read all those silly articles and blog posts.

Posted by: Richard Cyganiak at November 25, 2006 09:53 AM

Fair enough. Unfortunately, I am frequently asked questions about the relationship between the Semantic Web and, say, "Web 2.0".

About 10 years ago, we put something in motion that we felt was needed. We had a clear idea how to implement what we talked about (although it was going to be a lot of work). About 5 years ago we wanted to tell a larger audience what we were up to. It wasn't marketing, it wasn't hype.

What slows us down, I feel, is all the distraction when people for marketing, political, etc. non-technical reasons claim that they can now do this or that using whatever technology-du-jour. I believe in the vision put forth in the SciAm article, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. I'd prefer that work to be mostly technical.

Posted by: Ora Lassila at November 25, 2006 01:48 PM

A long with the blogwatch from Computerworld, you have some good points. I quoted you on my blog aswell:


Posted by: Alexander R√łyne at November 28, 2006 04:03 AM