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SEMANTIC WEB

Berners-Lee, Hendler, and Lassila (2001) state that the Semantic Web is not a separate Web, but an extension of the current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers, and people to work in cooperation. Daconta, Obrst, and Smith (2003) report that Tim Berners-Lee has a two-part vision for the future of the Web. The first part is to make the Web a more collaborative medium. The second part is to make the Web understandable, and thus can be processed by machines. Semantic Web Services using XML protocols is an example of implementing this vision. Web Services are defined by Daconta et al. (2003) as software applications that can be discovered, described, and accessed based on XML and standard Web protocols over intranets, extranets, and the Internet.

XML is a specification for coding markup language that is suitable for building data models. It is an application and platform independent and it is both human and machine-readable language. XML upgraded the Internet to the level of machine-to-machine communication instead of human to machine communication, which is offered by HTML. Adams (2001) stated that XML is an important step towards offering efficient resource discovery on the Web, although it does not completely solve the problem. XML facilitates increased access to and description of the content contained within documents. The technology separates the intellectual content of a text from its surrounding structure, meaning that information can be converted into a uniform structure. This capability is used to improve search and index criteria for content management; however, XML itself is nothing more than a collection of tags on how information is structured for storage and search. In contrast to HTML, XML does not contribute to how information is presented. The capability of presenting a mixture of document formats in an interoperable environment through the public grid (open grid architecture) is imperative since different organizations, even those sharing the same domain, have different ways of styling, classifying, and interfacing their contents. This multiplicity makes it extremely complicated to present documents across the grid.


  

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