W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-dwbp-wg@w3.org > March 2014

Re: APIs to work with data on the web

From: Steven Adler <adler1@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 09:17:47 -0400
To: Laufer <laufer@globo.com>
Cc: "deirdre.lee" <Deirdre.Lee@deri.org>, Makx Dekkers <mail@makxdekkers.com>, "manuel.carrasco-benitez" <Manuel.CARRASCO-BENITEZ@ec.europa.eu>, Newton Calegari <newton@nic.br>, DWBP WG <public-dwbp-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFB1288BEA.FB31EC22-ON85257CA0.004862B6-85257CA0.00490A2A@us.ibm.com>

You raise a very good point.  It would become extremely complex to have to 
access large datasets via URI's, but is SPARQL the only way to do this?  I 
ask because IBM just discontinued RDF support in DB2 due to inadequate 
customer demand.  I am not personally biased against RDF because there may 
be many reasons for IBM's decision:

1.  We may not have marketed this capability. 
2.  DB2 may be too expensive or heavy for RDF use cases. 
3.  RDF users may not think about DB2 as their first choice in databases, 

But I also have anecdotal developer stories that they do not like working 
with RDF.  So even though SPARQL is a very elegant way to gather up and 
represent many URI's I would prefer if we also had other non-RDF methods 
highlighted in our recommendations. 

Is that possible? 

Best Regards,


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

Laufer <laufer@globo.com>
"manuel.carrasco-benitez" <Manuel.CARRASCO-BENITEZ@ec.europa.eu>
Steven Adler/Somers/IBM@IBMUS, "deirdre.lee" <Deirdre.Lee@deri.org>, Makx 
Dekkers <mail@makxdekkers.com>, Newton Calegari <newton@nic.br>, DWBP WG 
03/19/2014 08:19 AM
Re: APIs to work with data on the web


I am not against URIs. They are the core.

But I think that it would be very difficult to a developer to guess what 
would be the URIs of all the collections that she could get from the 
datasets. For me, that's one reason to have a SPARQL endpoint instead of 
having plan URIs for all possible queries.

Even if you don't have a SPARQL endpoint you will need a mapping to show 
how to map a query to a URI. It could be considered a kind of query to URI 
transformation. If you published the mapping schema to be read by a human, 
we could say that the API is executed by the human that read the 
documentation. In a scenario, we can think in an API that would receive a 
SPARQL query and will return a URI. If a developer has the schema of the 
dataset (I am talking about rdf), she could ask whatever she wants. In the 
case that are few possibilities of different queries maybe only the URIs 
could be sufficient.

I prefer a mix of URIs with a very basic set of APIs (I don't know the 
blend). And a very good documentation.


2014-03-19 7:01 GMT-03:00 <Manuel.CARRASCO-BENITEZ@ec.europa.eu>:
Let's look at URI and resource
  Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax

"A URI is an identifier consisting of a sequence of characters …"
" 'resource' is used in a general sense for whatever might be identified 
by a URI …"
URI is not just query;  HTTP is just one of many schemes
  Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) Schemes

Resource might be viewed as a package: many variants (e.g., several 
languages) and useful information to provide metadata, context, etc.
We should address Linked Data (technical) and Linked Open Data (legal) in 
different layers: the 5 starts are in the legal layer
Let's consider URI with any scheme, though HTTP is the main protocol and 
Linked Data paper states to "Use HTTP URIs …".
In a plain practical way: getting access to the data with simple, 
permanent, short HTTP URI is refreshing J
(Manuel) Tomas 
From: Laufer [mailto:laufer@globo.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 5:30 PM
Cc: Steven Adler; deirdre.lee; Makx Dekkers; Newton Calegari; DWBP WG

Subject: Re: APIs to work with data on the web
I understand completely your point.
But I disagree. To me, it is not refreshing to represent a query using an 
URI. Think about all the groupings that you can make over a dataset or 
2014-03-18 13:18 GMT-03:00 <Manuel.CARRASCO-BENITEZ@ec.europa.eu>:
Going back to basics, the four point could be crashed into two

a)      Use URIs to name and to point into things (resources) 
b)      Provide useful information as links (metadata, origin, etc)
Note that one URI could have many variants: languages, formats, time 
(memento), etc. So
Get the "best" variant

Get the useful information

Get some specific variants



It is very refreshing to type an URI and get the "thing", even if 
sometimes one would prefer a forgetful  web J 

As you can see, it is a subject with some pedigree.
From: Laufer [mailto:laufer@globo.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 3:24 PM
To: Steven Adler
Cc: CARRASCO BENITEZ Manuel (DGT); Deirdre.Lee@deri.org; 
mail@makxdekkers.com; Newton Calegari; DWBP WG

Subject: Re: APIs to work with data on the web
Steve, Manuel,
I am not talking only about the Resources. Or, what are the things that 
are exposed as Resources.
For example, in DBpedia there is a Resource for the album Houses of the 
Holy (http://dbpedia.org/page/Houses_of_the_Holy).
There is also a Resource for the record label Atlantic Records (
http://dbpedia.org/page/Atlantic_Records), which is the record label from 
the album Houses of the Holy.
What is the URI of all albums of the record label Atlantic Records?
My question is: could it be one Best Practice, recommended by of DWBP WG, 
to provide a way of exposing the "Resource" All Albums of the Record Label 
Atlantic Records?
Best Regards,
2014-03-18 10:18 GMT-03:00 Steven Adler <adler1@us.ibm.com>:
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" 

Steven Adler/Somers/IBM@IBMUS, <Deirdre.Lee@deri.org> 
<mail@makxdekkers.com>, <newton@nic.br>, <public-dwbp-wg@w3.org> 
03/18/2014 08:21 AM 
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
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" 

"Lee, Deirdre" <Deirdre.Lee@deri.org> 
Newton Calegari <newton@nic.br>, Makx Dekkers <mail@makxdekkers.com> 
"public-dwbp-wg@w3.org" <public-dwbp-wg@w3.org> 
03/17/2014 11:19 AM 
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
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> escreveu: 

For a different perspective on APIs, see this: 
From: Newton Calegari [mailto:newton@nic.br] 
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2014 6:03 PM
To: 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] 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] site and made a presentation called “How to Design 
a Good API & Why it Matters” [3] (other Jushua's presentation about the 
same subject, but the video is hosted on YouTube [4]). 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: 
[2] Joshua Bloch: Bumper-Sticker API Design: 

[3] How to Design a Good API & Why it Matters: 
[4] How to Design a Good API & Why it Matters (YouTube version): 
Best Regards, 

.  .  .  .. .  . 
.        .   . ..
.     ..       . 

.  .  .  .. .  . 
.        .   . ..
.     ..       . 

.  .  .  .. .  . 
.        .   . ..
.     ..       . 

Received on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 13:18:19 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 20:24:12 UTC