REALNEO is proud to have Derek Arnold at the global IT bleeding edge, in Sunnyvale, CA this week

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 03/24/2007 - 23:59.


It is a great pleasure to have our original Drupal developer Derek Arnold back in the server seat for REALNEO and all tech things 7gen (shown here at my favorite wifi and human friendly coffee house in town, Talkies). Besides already cleaning up months of tech messes, less than two weeks back on track, Derek is now in Sunnyvale, California, as probably the only NEO representative at the Yahoo sponsored OSCMS (Open Source Content Management System) conference, the Drupal Performance and Scalability Seminar and the Drupal Hackfest - March 22-25, 2007. We've been touching base while he is there and it is clear he is learning lots of great insight, spreading NEO love in the open source world, and showing all that we are serious about making this a real open source domain (and I mean realneo and this region, in that).

I already know I'm going to hear mad props for Derek coming back into the global open source world - he was well appreciated in Portland when he supported OSCON/DrupalCon for realneo, in 2005, and he is more on tune now than ever. It is not easy to connect with a community that is truly global, so these in-person meet-ups, mashups and conferences are essential to operating at the leading edge and bleeding edge with these technologies.

 Next up - OSCON and UbuntuLive in Portland in July, where Derek will team up with my oldest open source friend, Carl Edwards, now shifting into R&D for realneo and 7gen. If you read this and think "why Portland", turn that around and think "why not NEO". Perhaps because Derek is the only person associated with NEO participating in the global open source scene. Then ask "why" about that.

 Speaking of which - it costs real money to travel to participate in such events - not mad OneCleveland money but a couple of grand here and there - so we are interested in sharing the costs and wealth with anyone here who wants to gain open source insight and respect in collaboration with us. Anyone who makes a contribution to cover some of the costs from this week's events (which was a $1,600 or so hit in the wallet) will gain exclusive access to a brain dump from Derek on what he learned there - figure a rate of $100/hour of consulting. I believe EcoCity/GCBL is on board for a few hours - please feel free to let me know if you can chip in and want the latest brain-gain as well - note my new email address is finally norm [at] realneo [dot] us, where I belong.

We'll also host an excellence roundtable featuring Derek sharing on his insight gained from Sunnyvale, in the near future, to help spread the wealth - we'll post on this to realneo and invite all our friends. And, watch for Derek to write up on this past week's events on realneo, as soon as he shakes the jet lag.

Thanks for bringing NEO respect where it is so needed, Derek! To NEO 3.0!

I'm in - on multiple levels

Of course i'm throwing down (AND in) on this 'revenue share' - and it will be great to hear news from the Yahoo campus and a globally significant conference.  I think a great synergy comes from the fact that so many of my relatives are from that area and may well be interested in contributing to our efforts down the road - we shall see!  In the meantime, look forward to catching up with you,  Mr Arnold and sharing much of what I've picked up on Drupal Administration and Coil Maintenance as well as higher level strategy suggestions (Drupal module development, smart integration of technology with sustainability) which should lead to Cleveland becoming a mirror site and Open Source thought leadership base.  My foray into technology has been quite fascinating!

Post the details on this strategy session soon - and count Norm and I in on helping to recompense Derek's significant chunk of his expenses of course!

About Web 3.0: A 'more revolutionary' Web

This article from the International Herald Tribune gives some sense of where REALNEO and the Internet are headed, and in many ways have arrived... more about Web 3.0 also found on Wikibedia here... now, from one of the invenotrs of the language of the Internet...

A 'more revolutionary' Web

By Victoria Shannon
International Herald Tribune

EDINBURGH Just when the ideas behind "Web 2.0" are starting to enter into the mainstream, the mass of brains behind the World Wide Web is introducing pieces of what may end up being called Web 3.0.

"Twenty years from now, we'll look back and say this was the embryonic period," said Tim Berners-Lee, 50, who established the programming language of the Web in 1989 with colleagues at CERN, the European science institute. 

"The Web is only going to get more revolutionary," he told delegates Tuesday at the opening of the 15th annual International World Wide Web Conference.

While Berners-Lee shrugs at the use of the term "Web 2.0" - a Silicon Valley buzzword to describe the Internet since the dot-com bust of the turn of the century - he does say he sees a new level of vigor across the network. 

To many in technology, Web 2.0 means an Internet that is even more interactive, customized, social and media-intensive - not to mention profitable - than the one of a decade ago.

It is a change apparent with multilayered media databases like Google Maps, software programs that run inside Web browsers like the collaboration-friendly word processor Writely, high-volume community forums like MySpace, and so-called social search tools like Yahoo Answers. 

But the software specialists, technology executives and entrepreneurs attending the conference in Edinburgh are looking beyond that, focusing on another - though less user-friendly - catchphrase: the semantic Web, another brainchild of Berners-Lee.

In this version of the Web, sites, links, media and databases are "smarter" and able to automatically convey more meaning than those of today. 

For example, Berners-Lee said, a Web site that announces a conference would also contain programming with a lot of related information embedded within it.

A user could click on a link and immediately transfer the time and date of the conference to his or her electronic calendar. The location - address, latitude, longitude, perhaps even altitude - could be sent to his or her GPS device, and the names and biographies of others invited could be sent to an instant messenger list. 

In other words, the "mark-up" language behind each Web page would be cross-referenced into countless other databases, once developers agreed on a common set of definitions.

Much of that foundation has been established over the past several years by the World Wide Web Consortium, a technical standards and policy group headed by Berners-Lee. 

Now comes the effort to push Web developers to adopt the components and put them into software, services and sites, said Nigel Shadbolt, a professor who teaches artificial intelligence at the University of Southampton in England.

"There is an obvious place for the semantic Web in life sciences, in medicine, in industrial research," Shadbolt said, and that is where most of the focus is today. 

"We're looking for communities of information users to show them the benefits," he said. "It's an evolutionary process."

The big question is whether it will move on next to businesses or consumers, he said. A consequence of an open and diffuse Internet, he noted, is that unexpected outcomes can emerge from unanticipated places. 

For instance, some early experiments in highlighting new relationships from existing Web data have come out of Flickr, a photo-sharing site that members categorize themselves, and FOAF, which stands for "friend of a friend," a research project to describe the various links between people.

Both add "meaning" where such context did not exist before, just by changing the underlying programming to reflect links between databases, Shadbolt said.

"Over a 5-to-10-year time frame, I think you are going to see increasing amounts of this semantic Web integration," he said. 

Patrick Sheehan, a partner in 3i Investments, a venture capital firm based in London, said investment was beginning to follow the "blue sky" period of big dreams for the semantic Web. His company financed two such early-stage companies this year, both in Britain.

"You can now say 'semantic Web' without getting a totally blank stare back," Sheehan said, adding that he had seen "several, not hundreds," of proposals. "The technology is still mostly coming out of the universities. But these companies are real, solving real problems - they're not just doing research." 

Garlik, based in Richmond, England, and listing Mike Harris, the chief executive of the online bank Egg, as its chairman, aims to use semantic programming to manage personal information online. OmPrompt, of Oxfordshire, focuses on message-driven trading communities.

Sheehan believes that Europe, particularly at places like the University of Southampton, is leading the world in semantic Web research, though it remains to be seen whether the region can be as successful at commercializing it. 

Not that anyone is counting, but Berners-Lee, whose work at CERN was inspired by a desire to share research papers widely among physicists, sees only two distinct versions of his Web: the Web of documents, which emerged in the 1990s, and the Web of data, which will be the result of the semantic programming languages.

"People keep asking what Web 3.0 is," Berners-Lee said. "I think maybe when you've got an overlay of scalable vector graphics - everything rippling and folding and looking misty - on Web 2.0 and access to a semantic Web integrated across a huge space of data, you'll have access to an unbelievable data resource." 

Said Sheehan: "I believe the semantic Web will be profound. In time, it will be as obvious as the Web seems obvious to us today."

Disrupt IT