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Re: document biased toward linked data practices

From: Carlos Iglesias <contact@carlosiglesias.es>
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 00:24:48 +0100
Message-ID: <CAAa1XznzwoWcshw6ZTJ7YRi8yc8Ob=YV1-A77iJBvcwrsM6Dug@mail.gmail.com>
To: Makx Dekkers <mail@makxdekkers.com>
Cc: Yaso <yaso@nic.br>, Public DWBP WG <public-dwbp-wg@w3.org>

On 15 March 2015 at 22:58, Makx Dekkers <mail@makxdekkers.com> wrote:

> All,
> I wasn’t able to be on the call so I am not entirely sure in what context
> Yaso made this comment, but I have been thinking along the same lines. It
> seems to me that the current best practices try to take a fairly general
> view, and maybe that is not good.
> If we try to define best practice for any type of data and any type of
> technology, we’ll end up in very general statements like “provide metadata”
> and “provide data in open formats”. How useful is that? How many people in
> the world are going to say: o gosh, I hadn’t thought of that? I’d say
> no-one.

In my experience I'd say many, otherwise we should be currently seeing more
metadata and open formats in practice and that's not happening.
There is nothing wrong with BPs being quite simple and evident. The good
thing of BPs is precisely their guiding and reference character.
In addition, there is nothing preventing us from going deeper through
implementation techniques with specific technologies.

> For example we now say in Best Practice 7: Provide data provenance
> information: Use the Provenance Ontology [PROV-O] to describe data
> provenance. Great, but what people really want to know is, how? And they
> want to see how others are using PROV-O in practice. Or in Best Practice 3:
> Use standard terms to define metadata: Metadata is best provided using RDF
> vocabularies. There is nothing actionable in that advice, which means that
> no-one is going to do anything with it, unless they already know how to do
> that.

Then you can provide specific implementation techniques for those.

> Maybe it would be more useful if we did indeed focus on Linked Open Data –
> in some of the work that I have done, I noted that best practices for LOD
> is something that people are screaming for.

Yes, asking for LOD support is usual when you work on a LOD project or
environment and quite the opposite when not. Have been working on around 50
different OD projects during the last 6 years and I think that maybe just
10% asked for LOD techs. As another example I have recently participated in
the evaluation of 300+ proposals for OD based businesses and only roughly
between 2-3% were planning to be using LOD at any extent. In general I
noted that LOD is something people is not usually screaming for except in
some specific scenarios.

Maybe we should limit this work to cover advice for publishing tabular data
> using the DataCube vocabulary and how to use DCAT for that kind of
> datasets, with good examples of existing applications and Application
> Profiles of DataCube and DCAT, with additional advice on when and how to
> use PROV, VOID, VOAF – again with good examples from existing
> implementations to show how it can be done.

This looks more like a quite specific guide than a best practices document,
I think this would be a great idea as an additional WG note with an
implementation example, but not as a replacement of the BPs themselves.

>  So in summary, I think that the more specific these best practices are,
> the more useful they are going to be. I understand this is completely the
> opposite of what Carlos was arguing, but I don’t think people are going to
> be excited about general advice.

I think some of the most popular recs at W3C in the past were such "general
advice" e.g. WCAG, MWBPs...
I think that making BPs generic and tech neutral is a BP itself.
I think that having good generic BPs is also compatible with much more
specific advice (in the form of implementation techniques).
I think we should be only focusing on LOD if we agree first on modifying
the charter and the document name and scope.


> Makx.
> *De:* yaso@nic.br [mailto:yaso@nic.br]
> *Enviado el:* 13 March 2015 15:30
> *Para:* Public DWBP WG
> *Asunto:* document biased toward linked data practices
> Hi folks,
> About what I said today at the end of the call:
> If we can't think in use cases where Data on the Web is not also Linked
> Data, shouldn't we agree that this Best Practices Document can and need to
> be biased towards Linked Data Best Practices Document?
> The BPs doc says at the intro: "The best practices described below have
> been developed to encourage and enable the continued expansion of the Web
> as a medium for the exchange of data."
> Imho, it closes the issue raised [1], helps us to decide about open issues
> [2] and make things more clear about the scope of the deliverables - and
> reinforces what phil said today about the "and if you don't want to use it
> then don't complain" :-)
> Particularly, I think that we should keep our mind open, even that this is
> to think in situations whether there can be data on the web that is not
> linked data (not trivial, if not impossible?). Somehow this is connected
> with conversations that we left behind, as well as the conversation about
> protocols, for example. Maybe a note of the working group...
> Salut,
> Yaso
> [1] http://www.w3.org/2013/dwbp/track/issues/144
> [2] http://www.w3.org/2013/dwbp/track/issues/open


Carlos Iglesias.
Internet & Web Consultant.
+34 687 917 759
Received on Wednesday, 18 March 2015 23:25:17 UTC

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