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Re: [dxwg] DataService and DataDistributionService (#432)

From: Annette Greiner via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2019 00:16:07 +0000
To: public-dxwg-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-456616162-1548202566-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
I still find it odd to have both DS and DDS. Simon's explanation makes some sense, and I understand that a data distribution service whose job it is solely to deliver datasets and parts thereof can be seen as a subset of all data services, but I'm wondering how that distinction is useful, since we don't offer ways of describing the alternatives. We can say among ourselves that they exist, but that doesn't help someone trying to describe one of these services understand how to use DCAT to do that. If we know they exist, why have we made no attempt to describe them in our vocabulary?

Moreover, I think we are still in need of a clear way to indicate that something is an API. Suppose I have an API that provides data about protein sequences. Users can download data about protein sequences, but they specify what they want by entering some existing sequence and specifying that they want to look for similarity. Is that a DDS? It is doing processing on the back end to determine what to return (much more than just a database search), but it is only returning existing data. If I later switch it to using precomputed data, do I have to change how I describe it? Does it matter if it is reachable only by running a command-line program? Can a web app with a graphical UI be a DDS? What about a web site that has links to datasets for direct download? If someone switches it from html-only to a database-backed service, does it need to be described differently? Suppose I have another API that offers bus route information. Does it change from being a DDS to something else if I add a feature to compute estimated arrival times? 

If we want to make DCAT work well for APIs, why don't we have a clear term for that? I would really like to see DCAT offer a way to clearly label something as an API without getting into gray areas about what it's serving.

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Received on Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:16:08 UTC

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