To put it in ridicolously simple words, semantics is about the meaning of something, what's actually in it. For geeks: Semantics is like the & operator in C. For everyone else, consult Wikipedia:Semantics.
The Semantic Chat
- Use URIs as names for things
- Use HTTP URIs so that people can look up those names.
- When someone looks up a URI, provide useful information, using the standards (RDF, SPARQL)
- Include links to other URIs. so that they can discover more things.
> However, I'd struggle to see something scaling with the Web if it ignores linked data principles
It does follow those principles, but it uses a different transport.
1. People and things have URIs like psyc://cepheide.org/~hellekin The psyc: however implies there may be a friendship/trust relationship or not, resulting in a different view of this URI depending on who you are. That is something people do not _expect_ from an http: URI and that http: needs extra data in order to provide.
2a. The psyced server also provides HTTP so it lets you have a quick look at me by using the same URI with http: in front (http://cepheide.org:4484/~hellekin - Hellekin changed the http port number though). But the information who YOU are and why YOU should see my phone number etc is lost. http: URIs would be misleading as people would think what they got is all there is.
2b. But a browser extension like psyczilla teaches the browser to browse psyc: rather than to use http: for people. A profile via psyc: looks just like the web in Firefox, but you actually get the data that has been made accessible specifically to YOU. A psyc: URI also implies you can subscribe to it and have it send things to you.
2c. PSYC could even be taught to route http URIs if that really is useful.
3. psyced outputs a web profile. It could use richer formats, but the richest format is the interactive data approach used via the PSYC protocol, so accessing the person/resource via psyc: automatically is a rich data operation.
4. Those profiles include links to groups, friends and microblogging. They could provide the richness of Facebook and beyond, but always taking in consideration who the viewer is. This is something you can't easily do with http: in a decentralized fashion. Are you going to give your credentials to every HTTP offering out there just in case they have some extra information tailored for you? Does every click you make require you to provide OpenID information? The user needs to be made aware that by clicking on a URI she is going to show who she is in order to get useful reply - having a different protocol URI delivers that understanding: You are clicking on something new - don't expect it to behave like the old. And psyc: URIs only start working after you logged into your own PSYC identity.
It scales with the web, since PSYC is just as decentralized as HTTP. In fact it adds the concept of one-to-many distribution of data that HTTP is lacking, so it doesn't need to be hosted on a "cloud" in order to deliver one source's data to millions of interested peers. One of the reasons amazing applications end up in big silos on the web is because HTTP isn't rich enough to decentralize them natively, or it isn't being used in a rich enough way. So everyone puts extensions on top that only work with their own domain and server.