W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-linked-json@w3.org > June 2011

Re: Yet another serialization format?

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 23:58:32 -0400
Message-ID: <4E095168.2080509@digitalbazaar.com>
To: public-linked-json@w3.org
On 06/27/2011 10:28 AM, Markus Lanthaler wrote:
> As it appears to me, currently the goal is to create "yet another
> RDF serialization format".

No, that is not the goal.

> However, recently it looked like the project is moving away from RDF
> and tried to create a *simple* linked data approach which is
> effectively a subset of the features RDF offers. This is not really 
> surprising as RDF is at its core a spec for describing graphs.
> 
> Is this really what we are trying to achieve here?

We are attempting to do at least two things here:

1. Create a simpler way that can be used to express Linked Data on the
   Web for people that use JSON.
2. Provide a mapping to RDF that can address some of the more advanced
   use cases, like PaySwarm.

> The only use case I've heard here is, as far as I remember, PaySwarm
> - which I admittedly didn't have a close look at. 

You should take a closer look at it, as it demonstrates the requirements
of a real-world system that utilizes JSON-LD. You could start here:

http://payswarm.com/

or you could see how digital contracts are expressed using JSON-LD
(albeit, an older version of JSON-LD):

http://purl.org/payswarm#Contract

> Is it thus really necessary to change all those representations to
> comply to a yet-to-define specification? 

No, one of the goals listed in the JSON-LD spec is:

Zero Edits, most of the time
JSON-LD provides a mechanism that allows developers to specify context
in a way that is out-of-band. This allows organizations that have
already deployed large JSON-based infrastructure to add meaning to their
JSON in a way that is not disruptive to their day-to-day operations and
is transparent to their current customers. At times, mapping JSON to RDF
can become difficult - in these instances, rather than having JSON-LD
support esoteric markup, we chose not to support the use case and
support a simplified syntax instead. So, while we strive for Zero Edits,
it was not always possible without adding great complexity to the language.

http://json-ld.org/spec/ED/20110615/#goals

> Wouldn't it be more sensible
> to create a specification which allows to describe those existing
> representations and to transform those to a graph of linked data?

That's what JSON-LD does for most cases.

> This would lead to a clear upgrade path for existing systems without
> breaking all of its clients. In the approach I'm talking about, the
> semantics/links would be added as a layer on top of the current data
> (separation of concerns).

I don't understand the difference between what you're expressing and
what the JSON-LD spec already does. Could you please give an example?

-- manu

-- 
Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: PaySwarm Developer Tools and Demo Released
http://digitalbazaar.com/2011/05/05/payswarm-sandbox/
Received on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 03:58:56 GMT

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