I wanted to say how pleased I was a
few months ago when Michael Hausenblas forwarded me a a reference to
your Linked Data Patterns book. Totally Brilliant! I think a pattern
language is just the right approach for linked data. And yes, I mean a
pattern language, something more whole and alive than how the industry
has come to portray design patterns since the 90s.
So I reached
into my bookshelf this morning and dusted off my copies of A Timeless
Way of Building, A Pattern Language and the Oregon Experiment. For those
who haven't read them, I highly recommend all three of these books. For
those who have read them, recall how the principles of web design
reflect the principles from The Oregon Experiment: Organic Order,
Participation, Piecemeal Growth, Patterns, Diagnosis and Coordination.
Or Alexander's Summary of the Language: "A pattern language has the
structure of a network." [...] "Since the language is in truth a
network, there is no one sequence which perfectly captures it." [...]
"The sequence of patterns is both a summary of the language, and at the
same time, an index to the patterns."
Most importantly, the technologies underlying the Linked Data meme are just right for publishing pattern languages. In 1977 Alexander
described how publishing the language as a hard bound copy could be
misinterpreted. He was concerned that people might come to rely only on
the one language printed in the book. Today, the web provides us a
publishing mechanism that overcomes the limitation Alexander faced in
1977: Linked Data.
I haven't looked closely at the view
source, but I see XHTML transitional at the top. I wonder whether
distributed publishing in RDFa might be of interest to you? An eat your
own dog food exercise in Linked Data. I have two additional patterns in
mind: edge specifications and un-original intentionality. Edge
specifications  overcome our natural tendency to define again yet
another core for what has already been defined, possibly a few times
already. Un-original intentionality is a pattern where a concept is no
longer considered a "natural kind" and uses an RDFS reasoner to infer
the concept as an intersection, or union of subject and predicate. The
name takes license with John Searle's Chinese Room Argument.
an aside, here's a pointer  to the original Open Government: Linked
Open Data use case I published on December 2, 2008 long before Linked
Data became fashionable in government. I spend much of my time these
days on formal language design in Haskell, far from the linked data
Alexander spent 8 years working through what's published in
A Pattern Language. I hope we'll have the opportunity to spend the next
8 years developing a pattern language for Linked Data.