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Re: Review of Relevant Technologies section

From: Antoine Isaac <aisaac@few.vu.nl>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2011 13:14:27 +0200
Message-ID: <4E071493.1030603@few.vu.nl>
To: Jon Phipps <jonp@jesandco.org>
CC: tom@tombaker.org, public-lld <public-lld@w3.org>, emmanuelle.bermes@bnf.fr
Hi Jon,

Thanks very much for the review. This is very much relevant, and no doubt your general points will have to be considered, even beyond the relevant tech section.

Re. the specific comments, I think they do represent a useful start. I am not the editor of that part, but I think that if you've got more (especially, if you've already noted them down somewhere) it would be welcome. Time-wise, it's less urgent: I think you've already given enough more food for thought than needed for the coming days :-)



> Folks,
> I was asked to review the 'Relevant Technologies' section...
> I have some general comments at this point, and I think some of the more specific problems might be subsumed if the general problems are addressed.
>    1. A great deal of time has been spent gathering and organizing relevant Use Cases and it seems to me that this section in particular should attempt to define 'relevance' in terms that would show the relevance of the available technologies to the specific categories of Use Cases, either by organization or by direct reference in the text.
>    2. There's considerable confusion regarding RDF and Linked Data, often treating the two technologies as synonymous. Although they share some features, such as the centrality of URIs to the technology, Linked Data doesn't require RDF either as transport, storage or data model. I agree that there are distinct advantages to using the RDF data model to express LLD in the transport layer and for aggregation, but this shouldn't be promoted to the level of a requirement, nor should the advantages of RDF be presented as the same advantages of Linked Data. This happens throughout the report, not just in this section, and it would be worthwhile to review all of the sections for clarity with respect to this difference. If it's the recommendation of this group that LLD be restricted to RDF (as the definition of LLD in the 'scope' section states), then that needs to be an explicit and clearly defined prescription and its implications taken into consideration.
>    3. Related to #2, it would be useful to be explicit about the hierarchy of technologies supported by Linked Data as spelled out in TBL's 'principles' document and his '5-star-rating' compliance as it directly addresses technologic relevance.
> Some specifics:
>     * Discrete and bulk access to information
>           o Cool URIs have 2 requirements: 1) be on the web (http) and 2) be unambiguous (one URI can't stand for both a document and a real-world object). This is quite different from "raw RDF can be easily and automatically negotiated and rendered into an HTML format for human (browser) consumption". Linked data's distinction is its narrowing of semweb focus to Cool URI requirement #1 and its divergence from some of the more stringent Artificial Intelligence-driven requirements of semweb.
>           o "... the atomic nature of Linked Data http URIs makes it impractical for high volume network access" is arguably as untrue as saying that http URIs in general are impractical for high volume network access. It also conflicts with the value of http URIs described in the introductory paragraph to this section.
>           o This paragraph doesn't effectively describe the technologic relevance of either discrete or bulk access to library data.
>     * Linked Data front-ends
>           o "... typical XML documents". In the context of library linked data a better comparison might be made to MARC21
>           o What does "mash up" mean?
>           o This paragraph is an instance of RDF/Linked Data confusion and seems to be substituting Linked Data for RDF
>           o There's no mention of the integration of RDF layers on existing data stores, like Oracle and DB2 and a simple Google Scholar search (http://bit.ly/mjBMQl) invites distillation into a few sentences a discussion of RDF and 'traditional' data stores.
>     * Tools for data designers
>           o There's no mention of UML and its relationship to data modeling for RDF, or the best practices of the Dublin Core Singapore Framework and the Dublin Core Abstract Model's integration of RDF-friendly domain modeling.
>           o This is the first mention of "domain-specific vocabularies" that elsewhere appear to be described as "metadata element sets". This should be made consistent or a clearer distinction made.
>           o OWL could as easily be seen as an impediment to the production of RDF. Rather than promoting OWL it might be better to provide a more neutral and balanced description of the technology, specific to library linked data in RDF format.
>           o This paragraph is also an instance of RDF/Linked Data confusion
> At this point I have more than run out of time to continue, I'm already very late with this review, and I'm not at all sure that the level of detailed review in the sections above is what's required. If you'd like me to continue with that level of detail for the rest of the section, I may be able to provide that before the next meeting. But I'm attending ALA Annual for the next week and my dance card is quite full. Hopefully this represents a useful start.
> --
> Jon Phipps
Received on Sunday, 26 June 2011 11:11:58 UTC

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