Anne van Kesteren

Web 2

The Web 2 I aspire to is an impossible pipe dream that will eventually become reality. It’s a web where IRIs define relationships and meaning. There is no need for Unicode to represent characters, direction et cetera as these are represented by IRIs. Abbreviations are defined by a IRI which defines its expansion, phonetics and other IRIs that are related to it.

Because everything has been abstracted to IRIs there is just data and you don’t have to filter out someone’s personal opinions when trying to learn something. In the end the IRIs themselves don’t have to contain any information because their meaning is implied. Solely their existence defines the content and everything is connected to each other so when asking your computer a question ‘it knows’ the answer and lists a thousand related topics for further investigation.

That would be Web 2. (Concluded after sharing thoughts about it with Sjoerd Visscher.)


  1. The red pill seems to cause sarcastic side effects.

    Posted by Henri Sivonen at

  2. Wow, this sounds so crazy it just might work!

    Posted by Charl van Niekerk at

  3. Sorry, those features aren't on the roadmap until Web 3.1.

    In the meantime, why not try this fantiastic new Ajax contraption: Its a city / football team / bathroom cleaning product / new combination of java/ecmascript, xml and loads of other stuff! w00t!

    Posted by Olly at

  4. I say dream on. This is actually a cool dream which seems rather far on the horizon.

    Posted by ghola at

  5. I have this strange vision of IRIs raining down from above, set in semi-transparent light green type. A rather exotic type, too.

    Bah. I’ll take the blue one and carry on.

    Posted by ACJ at

  6. Anne,

    In some ways Web 2 already exists and has for some time. Topic Maps are exactly what you're looking for. You have a series of topics, lets say Paris, La Boheme, and Puccini. Each of these topics can be uniquely identified by an IRI. Each of these is related to each other by in several ways. Most obviously, Puccini WROTE La Boheme which is SET IN Paris. Both WROTE and SET IN are associations which can be given IRIs.

    Have a close look at "the TAO or Topic Maps" for a good introduction to topic maps. Then go see an topic map in action, the italian topic map, at Ontopia

    Once you get your head around the idea, you'll just how close it is to to what you're talking about.

    Its the yellow pill


    Posted by Adam van den Hoven at

  7. The story was partially inspired by the semantic web — RDF, so to say — and taken a bit further. Topic Maps are a similar concept from what I’ve read about them, which is not much.

    Posted by Anne at