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Why The Web is Not Enough!

Currently the web is a vast repository of data and a powerful tool for locating information, however having so much data has also become an issue, according to Lacy:

“Although the current web is truly incredible, it does not provide enough structure to support advance computer processing content.”

The webs simplicity enabled its growth; documents created using HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) are easily developed with very few constraints on their syntax. This simplicity has allowed variation on a wide scale, information now comes from many sources and can be developed using different types of syntax. As discussed by Allemang and Hendler,

“Essential to notion of the web is the idea of an open community: Anyone can contribute their ideas to the whole, for anyone to see.”

A user is able to find a topic that has been analysed, summarised and presented in many different forms, the webpage may have been developed by anyone not necessarily an expert of that field. However this does not prevent the user from sorting out the information sources and finding what they require. One of the main reasons for the success of the web is the development of search engines, which usually are keyword based and search the millions of documents for the content the user has requested. However, there are problems associated with their use:

• Low accuracy/high return
• No relevancy
• Results will depend on vocabulary
• Results are often distributed

It is often the case that a search will return many results and the user will have to sieve through the pages to find exactly what they need. The problem is that the meaning of the web content is not machine-accessible, yes it can be located but the machine is not able to interpret the meaning. For example the user may search for clothes made by snoop dog; the search will look for the words within the sentence and match them up with HTML documents. The search may be ordered with the page that is showing the most matches, however this may be a page that consists of fashion for dogs. The result is not even linked to what the user was looking for, so the search will continue or be amended. The solution to a more satisfying experience is to make the web-content machine accessible, by providing structure to the semi-structured HTML documents.