Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

The Evolution Of Web Search

Filed under
Web

As we've become completely immersed in the Internet era, Google has become a verb, librarians are increasingly lonely, and most of us have mastered the basics of Boolean logic--without even knowing exactly what it is. We've become a society of information managers, navigating huge amounts of data with ease and expertly tracking down obscure facts and figures.

But as far as we've come, all we've really done is become good at finding needles in haystacks. There's no sophistication, no wisdom involved, and it's largely because our search tools are pretty dumb.

Imagine you were suffering from a bad case of tennis elbow and wanted to find a doctor who could see you on Saturday. A simple Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) search for "doctors" would find some referral services, but it would also produce pages of doctor jokes and medical associations. More significantly, you'd miss all kinds of "physicians" and "therapists" who might be able to help, simply because you didn't choose that word. Search on "tennis elbow" and you're not going to find help for "athletic injuries." And searching for offices that are "open Saturdays" won't help you find the ones with "weekend hours."

To solve that problem, we need a search system that doesn't just process and parse our language, but understands it; programs that don't just match your search terms but intuitively recognize context to deliver what you're really looking for. Fortunately, engineers and researchers around the world are already at work to bring about this system, and they call it the semantic Web.

Conceived by Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist generally considered the father of the World Wide Web, the semantic Web isn't an entirely new network. It's a vision of a world where "tags," or code, is hidden inside Web pages to help computers understand meaning. Individual terms like "doctor" would be tagged with identifying code allowing a program reading the document to refer back to a central dictionary and learn that a "doctor" is the same as a "physician."

But the semantic Web isn't just a fancy thesaurus. It also defines the relationships between words, allowing a program to understand that "price" is measured in "dollars," which can be converted into "yen," and that both of those words refer to different kinds of "money."

The resulting system bears the same relationship to today's Web as a pile of books does to a well-cataloged library. "The World Wide Web, as we know it today, is mostly unstructured content," says Burton Group analyst Peter O'Kelly. "The general idea is to infuse more meaning, try to provide more of a sense of structure about the world."

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

GNOME: WebKit, Fleet Commander, Introducing deviced

  • On Compiling WebKit (now twice as fast!)
    Are you tired of waiting for ages to build large C++ projects like WebKit? Slow headers are generally the problem. Your C++ source code file #includes a few headers, all those headers #include more, and those headers #include more, and more, and more, and since it’s C++ a bunch of these headers contain lots of complex templates to slow down things even more. Not fun.
  • Fleet Commander is looking for a GSoC student to help us take over the world
    Fleet Commander has seen quite a lot of progress recently, of which I should blog about soon. For those unaware, Fleet Commander is an effort to make GNOME great for IT administrators in large deployments, allowing them to deploy desktop and application configuration profiles across hundreds of machines with ease through a web administration UI based on Cockpit. It is mostly implemented in Python.
  • Introducing deviced
    Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been heads down working on a new tool along with Patrick Griffis. The purpose of this tool is to make it easier to integrate IDEs and other tooling with GNU-based gadgets like phones, tablets, infotainment, and IoT devices. Years ago I was working on a GNOME-based home router with davidz which sadly we never finished. One thing that was obvious to me in that moment of time was that I’m not doing another large scale project until I had better tooling. That is Builder’s genesis, and device integration is what will make it truly useful to myself and others who love playing with GNU-friendly gadgets.

KDE: Usability & Productivity, AtCore , Krita

  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 6
  • AtCore takes to the pi
    The Raspberry Pi3 is a small single board computer that costs around $35 (USD). It comes with a network port, wifi , bt , 4 usb ports , gpio pins , camera port , a display out, hdmi, a TRRS for analog A/V out. 1GB of ran and 4 ~1GHz armv8 cores Inside small SOC. Its storage is a microSd card they are a low cost and low power device. The Touchscreen kit is an 800×480 display that hooks to the Gpio for touch and dsi port for video. To hold our hardware is the standard touch screen enclosure that often comes with the screen if you buy it in a kit.
  • Look, new presets! Another Krita 4 development build!
    We’ve been focusing like crazy on the Krita 4 release. We managed to close some 150 bugs in the past month, and Krita 4 is getting stable enough for many people to use day in, day out. There’s still more to be done, of course! So we’ll continue fixing issues and applying polish for at least another four weeks. One of the things we’re doing as well is redesigning the set of default brush presets and brush tips that come with Krita. Brush tips are the little images one can paint with, and brush presets are the brushes you can select in the brush palette or brush popup. The combination of a tip, some settings and a smart bit of coding! Our old set was fine, but it was based on David Revoy‘s earliest Krita brush bundles, and for Krita 4 we are revamping the entire set. We’ve added many new options to the brushes since then! So, many artists are working together to create a good-looking, useful and interesting brushes for Krita 4.

Software: GIMP, Spyder, SMPlayer

  • Five free photo and video editing tools that could save burning a hole in your pocket and take your creativity to the next level
    GIMP stands for the Gnu Image Manipulation Program and is the first word that people usually think about when it comes to free image editors. It’s a raster graphics editor, available on multiple platforms on PC. It has a similar interface to Photoshop: you have your tools on one side, there’s an option for your tool window and then you have your layers window on another side. Perhaps one of the most useful features of GIMP is the option of plugins. There is a wide database for them and there’s a plugin for almost any task you might need to carry out. GIMP is extremely extensive, and it’s the choice of the FOSS community, thanks to the fact that it’s also open source. However, there are also some disadvantages. For example, GIMP has no direct RAW support yet (you have to install a plugin to enable it, which means a split workflow). It also has quite a bit of a learning curve as compared to Photoshop or Lightroom.
  • Introducing Spyder, the Scientific PYthon Development EnviRonment
    If you want to use Anaconda for science projects, one of the first things to consider is the spyder package, which is included in the basic Anaconda installation. Spyder is short for Scientific PYthon Development EnviRonment. Think of it as an IDE for scientific programming within Python.
  • SMPlayer 18.2.2 Released, Install In Ubuntu/Linux Mint Via PPA
    SMPlayer is a free media player created for Linux and Windows, it was released under GNU General Public License. Unlike other players it doesn't require you to install codecs to play something because it carries its own all required codecs with itself. This is the first release which now support MPV and some other features such as MPRIS v2 Support, new theme, 3D stereo filter and more. It uses the award-winning MPlayer as playback engine which is capable of playing almost all known video and audio formats (avi, mkv, wmv, mp4, mpeg... see list).

Funding: Ethereum and Outreachy

  • How Will a $100 Mln Grant Help Ethereum Scale?
    On Feb. 16, six large-scale Blockchain projects OmiseGo, Cosmos, Golem, Maker and Raiden, that have completed successful multi-million dollar initial coin offerings (ICOs) last year, along with Japanese venture capital firm Global Brain have created the Ethereum Community Fund (ECF), to fund projects and businesses within the Ethereum ecosystem.
  • Outreachy Is Now Accepting Applications For Their Summer 2018 Internships
    This week Google announced the participating organizations for GSoC 2018 for students wishing to get involved with open-source/Linux development. Also happening this week is the application period opened for those wishing to participate in the summer 2018 paid internship program.