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Boston (III)

(This is a reprint of the original post)

I'm writing from the Boston Airport, where I'm waiting for my flight back to Europe. However, it is unlike that I'd be able to send this post before I reach home [Update: I've just arrived at home].

My last day at Boston was great. The weather was a bit better (no more snow, less windy, temperatures below zero but tolerable). I spend all the day at the SWD WG meeting. The most amazing event took place in the afternoon, when I had the priviledge to share a brainstorming session on RDFa with Ivan Herman, Ben Adida, Fabien Gradon, Ralph Swick and Tim Berners-Lee (yeah, we were only 6 in that session). Those five are all great researchers, but let me say that watching TimBL in action is simply awesome. He speaks extremely fast while he draws unreadable diagrams on the whiteboard. Even in his position, he is still pasionate with the technical details of future of the web. Discussing and designing the next technologies of the web, at the heart of the MIT, and with those experts, is something I won't easily forget. Obviously, I'm more than willing to collaborate with them to the maximum extent of my possibilities.

I'm confident that languages such as RDFa and GRDDL may speed up the adoption of the Semantic Web. They allow to extend HTML data with semantics, as microformats do, but they are consistent with the other semantic web technologies. Please refer to the use cases that have been identified for them.

By the way, I was able to see a bit more of the MIT. They have, for instance, lava lamps in some rooms, and wide whiteboards with sofas in front of them, so the staff can discuss ideas while they're confortably sit on the sofas. The environment and the building are also very inspiring, and the wifi connection allows people to do whatever stuff they're doing from the corridors or the cafeteria. The food, however, is not so good. It is also remarkable that the MIT is funded, at least partially, by private funds. The most important donors are recognized by naming some parts of the building after them. For example, the cafeteria is the "Forbes family cafe", and one of the two towers of the Stata Center is the "Gates tower" (yes, that Gates with a great fortune).

Update (7/2/07): I fixed a typo in the name of one of my colleagues. Sorry!