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RE: Recommendations from Leigh

From: Lee, Deirdre <Deirdre.Lee@deri.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 23:13:43 +0000
To: Leigh Dodds <leigh@ldodds.com>
CC: "public-dwbp-wg@w3.org" <public-dwbp-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <DA0D3B2CE5F5614AA2307A974AFAC39BDD546947@UDSMBX02.uds.nuigalway.ie>

Thanks Leigh for your valuable comments. While we will bear them all in mind, many of your points are justifiable as use-cases in their own right, to ensure they don't get lost. I've added some to our use-case doc (Documented Support and Release of Data and Feedback Loop for Corrections). Let me know if you have any comments.

I have also added two other new use-cases that came up during the OKF Greece workshop presentations this evening on natural disaster management data and transport data. I will add more details once the slides are online (and I have better Web connection) Selection of particular datasets might be out of scope for our WG, but we can discuss the use-cases at our F2F.

Great to see all the discussion on the mailing-list, but don't forget to pop the specific use-cases in the use-case wiki page!

Hope to see some of you at EDF over the next few days.


Deirdre Lee, Research Associate, eGovernment Group
Insight Center for Data Analytics, NUI Galway, Ireland
Twitter: @deirdrelee, Skype: deirdrelee
Linkedin: ie.linkedin.com/in/leedeirdre/<http://ie.linkedin.com/in/leedeirdre/>
From: leigh.dodds@gmail.com [leigh.dodds@gmail.com] on behalf of Leigh Dodds [leigh@ldodds.com]
Sent: 18 March 2014 13:50
To: Steven Adler
Cc: Manuel.CARRASCO-BENITEZ@ec.europa.eu; Lee, Deirdre; mail@makxdekkers.com; newton@nic.br; public-dwbp-wg@w3.org
Subject: Re: APIs to work with data on the web


I'm not a working group member, but wanted to chime in here.

I work as an Open Data consultant, with part of my time spent working at the Open Data Institute in the UK (my comments here are my own). I'm very interested to see the deliverables from this group as this is a really important area.

As someone who works with a variety of data publishers and consumers,  I'm looking for this working group to help document and promote a set of best practices that apply to the existing ways in which people are putting data onto the web, *not* to recommend a single best way to do that. There is already a set of emerging best practices, recommendations and guidance which can be brought together by this group and given a seal of approval by the W3C.

Many of those best practices are orthogonal to the means by which the data itself is published. Whether the data is accessed in bulk (downloads) or on-demand (APIs, Linked Data) there are some common things that data publishers should do in order to make that data useful, for example:

* ensure its documented
* ensure its supported and regularly released
* ensure the release schedule is described
* ensure that there are clear feedback loops for corrections, updates
* ensure it is clearly licensed
* ensure that there is a stable link to the data
* ...etc

Many of these issues are captured and described by applications like the Open Data Certificates, but not all of them are yet covered by machine-readable vocabularies.

There are some specific recommendations that can also be made that apply to the means by which data is published:

* If you're publishing bulk downloads, then how do you support that with machine-readable metadata? E.g. as part of a data package
* If you're publishing a SPARQL endpoint, then should you also publish a SPARQL Service Description document, etc.
* If you're publishing Linked Data then how best to construct your URIs? (Ref: UK government URI guidance)
* ...etc

Separating out the issues into general recommendations, that help build trust and reliability into online data, from specific technology specific recommendations seems like a useful way forward to me.

It also important to recognise that publishers may want or need to support multiple ways to access the same dataset. For example when we built the Ordnance Survey Linked Data platform this was to supplement their existing bulk download options with both a Linked Data view and a set of APIs. This was to support the widest possible set of consumer needs. E.g. everything from local bulk indexing, through to simple online browsing of the data.

In terms of the use cases that are being compiled, I think its really important to prioritise the needs of the data consumer rather than the publisher. Its the consumers that need to be supported by data publishers doing improving their publication processes (incl. providing machine-readable data). Publishers will also benefit but through the network effects of more consumers using their data. By focusing on specific issues that consumers are facing I think it will be easier to turn those into actions for the group.

So from a use case perspective I'd suggest focusing them on specific questions such as:

* as a data consumer, how do I identify the source of this data?
* as a data consumer, how do I know how this data has been collected?
* ..., how do I provide corrections?



On Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 1:18 PM, Steven Adler <adler1@us.ibm.com<mailto:adler1@us.ibm.com>> wrote:
Thanks.  A few people have agreed with our position below, but some still like the idea of API's for accessing Data.  What is the process W3C uses to resolve these points of view and when it is resolved, does the conclusion get written into the Best Practices draft and/or do we also include the lineage of the conclusion - that is, we we present the pros and cons and reasons for the conclusion by also relating what we didn't recommend and why?

Best Regards,


Motto: "Do First, Think, Do it Again"

From:   <Manuel.CARRASCO-BENITEZ@ec.europa.eu<mailto:Manuel.CARRASCO-BENITEZ@ec.europa.eu>>
To:     Steven Adler/Somers/IBM@IBMUS, <Deirdre.Lee@deri.org<mailto:Deirdre.Lee@deri.org>>
Cc:     <mail@makxdekkers.com<mailto:mail@makxdekkers.com>>, <newton@nic.br<mailto:newton@nic.br>>, <public-dwbp-wg@w3.org<mailto:public-dwbp-wg@w3.org>>
Date:   03/18/2014 08:21 AM
Subject:        RE: APIs to work with data on the web



-        Resources should be addressable with a URI
-        One should aim a common interface for humans and machine



From: Steven Adler [mailto:adler1@us.ibm.com]
Sent: Monday, March 17, 2014 4:34 PM
To: Lee, Deirdre
Cc: Makx Dekkers; Newton Calegari; public-dwbp-wg@w3.org<mailto:public-dwbp-wg@w3.org>
Subject: RE: APIs to work with data on the web

Excellent use case which begins to explore and spell out the advantages and trade-offs of using API's to access Open Data.  I would like to explore this topic in greater detail.  My own personal preference is data access by HTTP and URI, because it provides a common interface for humans and machines.  But are there performance implications?

Best Regards,


Motto: "Do First, Think, Do it Again"

From:   "Lee, Deirdre" <Deirdre.Lee@deri.org<mailto:Deirdre.Lee@deri.org>>
To:     Newton Calegari <newton@nic.br<mailto:newton@nic.br>>, Makx Dekkers <mail@makxdekkers.com<mailto:mail@makxdekkers.com>>
Cc:     "public-dwbp-wg@w3.org<mailto:public-dwbp-wg@w3.org>" <public-dwbp-wg@w3.org<mailto:public-dwbp-wg@w3.org>>
Date:   03/17/2014 11:19 AM
Subject:        RE: APIs to work with data on the web


Hi all,

Very interesting article indeed and related to discussions we’re currently having with developers as part of Open Data Ireland on how best to publish/use machine-readable data.

I’ve added a use-case on it https://www.w3.org/2013/dwbp/wiki/Use_Cases Please feel free to add points or pick up on nuances of the conversation that I missed. Perhaps we could break this into multiple use-cases to look at each of the aspects in more detail?


From: Newton Calegari [mailto:newton@nic.br]
Sent: 17 March 2014 13:19
To: Makx Dekkers
Cc: public-dwbp-wg@w3.org<mailto:public-dwbp-wg@w3.org>
Subject: Re: APIs to work with data on the web

Hi Laufer, I didn't know the Socrata.
Thanks for share the link, Makx. Very interesting text and point of view about APIs.



Em 14/03/2014, à(s) 15:58, Makx Dekkers <mail@makxdekkers.com<mailto:mail@makxdekkers.com>> escreveu:

For a different perspective on APIs, see this: http://ruben.verborgh.org/blog/2013/11/29/the-lie-of-the-api/


From: Newton Calegari [mailto:newton@nic.br]
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2014 6:03 PM
To: public-dwbp-wg@w3.org<mailto:public-dwbp-wg@w3.org>
Subject: APIs to work with data on the web

Hi all,

         Last week, Yaso and I were talking about APIs and how they are important in all aspects of data on the web. APIs are one of the simplest ways to access and to distribute data across the web, and we think that is an important subject to be discussed on the WG.
         To talk about APIs, we obviously need to discuss about URI and descriptors. Carrasco written the first document [1<http://www.w3.org/2013/dwbp/wiki/Data_on_the_Web_URI_Best_Practices>] about it, besides there are a few messages discussing it.
         Moreover, I want to share some links I consider relevant and useful to discuss about this topic.
         Joshua Bloch, a software engineer and former Googler, published an article on InfoQ [2<http://www.infoq.com/articles/API-Design-Joshua-Bloch?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer36801&utm_medium=twitter#.UvbdCPy0BT0.delicious>] site and made a presentation called “How to Design a Good API & Why it Matters” [3<http://www.infoq.com/presentations/effective-api-design>] (other Jushua's presentation about the same subject, but the video is hosted on YouTube [4<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAb7hSCtvGw>]). These links are very interesting and I recommend to all of you, even who is already expert in API design.

[1] Data on the Web URI Best Practices: http://www.w3.org/2013/dwbp/wiki/Data_on_the_Web_URI_Best_Practices
[2] Joshua Bloch: Bumper-Sticker API Design: http://www.infoq.com/articles/API-Design-Joshua-Bloch?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer36801&utm_medium=twitter#.UvbdCPy0BT0.delicious
[3] How to Design a Good API & Why it Matters: http://www.infoq.com/presentations/effective-api-design
[4] How to Design a Good API & Why it Matters (YouTube version): https://www.youtube..com/watch?v=aAb7hSCtvGw<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAb7hSCtvGw>

Best Regards,

Leigh Dodds
Freelance Technologist
Open Data, Linked Data Geek
t: @ldodds
w: ldodds.com<http://ldodds.com>
e: leigh@ldodds.com<mailto:leigh@ldodds.com>
Received on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 23:14:14 UTC

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