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Comments on the complexity of the JSON-LD spec

From: Brian Peterson <publicayers@verizon.net>
Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2011 14:24:10 -0400
To: <public-linked-json@w3.org>
Message-id: <014001cc221b$6f316030$4d942090$@net>
I believe that the popularity of JSON is based primarily on its simplicity.
IMHO, JS developers and other consumers of JSON are going to expect
simplicity. A JSON-LD specification that is 10x longer than the original
JSON specification is going to be a non-starter for the majority of JSON
developers - a big majority. Honestly, I think the first JSON-LD spec should
fit in an email (a short email, unlike the ones I tend to write).

 

Extensions to the specification, or other JSON-based formats, can be
introduced for the more general use cases, ones requiring more RDF features.

 

I read through the JSON-LD specification ([1]) as I think a UI developer
would, or some other consumer of JSON. I don't mean to be harsh, and I don't
mean to be a smart*ss; I'm just responding from the perspective of the
feedback I've gotten from the developers I work with.

 

I got through sections 1 and 2 only because I'm familiar with W3C
specification documents, but you started to lose me around section 2.4. I
scanned over section 3 and landed on 3.3, Microdata, only because I just
heard about schema.org. My thoughts reading that section is that the authors
of JSON-LD didn't take into consideration that URIs might work in Microdata
because it is HTML based, but they don't fit as keywords in JSON. Developers
never use URIs as keywords in JSON.

 

Then you lost me at section 4. A processing algorithm for a JSON-based
format that requires 12 term definition, 11 specialized keywords, and 20
steps is just a non-starter. I'd use it if my team lead made me, but I would
never chose to include it in a service I'm developing. 

 

This might work as an advanced specification, one for hard-core semantic web
developers. It might work on a web with a dominating presence of semantic
junkies. But there is no way I could get my developers to adopt this
specification right off. It doesn't fit with the simplicity of JSON, the
simplicity currently expected by consumers and producers of JSON. 

 

I'll follow up with the kind of dirt-simple JSON-LD specification if there's
interest.

 

BTW, I've never been a fan of the "a" shortcut. But that's a nit-pick. I'd
prefer something like "@type" to fit better with "@iri".

 

Brian

 

[1] http://json-ld.org/spec/ED/20110507/
Received on Friday, 3 June 2011 18:25:01 GMT

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