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Re: Linking non-open data

From: Chris Bizer <chris@bizer.de>
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2008 05:21:54 +0200
Message-ID: <004501c8a103$5cb552a0$c4e84d57@named4gc1asnuj>
To: "Peter Coetzee" <peter@coetzee.org>, "Matthias Samwald" <samwald@gmx.at>
Cc: <public-lod@w3.org>, "Tassilo Pellegrini" <t.pellegrini@semantic-web.at>, "Andreas Blumauer \(Semantic Web Company\)" <a.blumauer@semantic-web.at>
Hi Peter,

> One of the problems this presents though, is how to advertise the data that's 
> available for a user. Perhaps something like the Semantic Web Sitemap Extension
> [1] could be used / extended to say what data is available behind this authentication, 
> so that an agent knows whether or not it's interested in trying to find credentials for it 
> (e.g. prompting a user)?

Building on the Sitemap Extension would be one option, but I think advertising could also work much simpler just by setting RDF links to the access protected resources.

So you could do have something like this:

1. Use http://yourDomain/resource/PublicDataAboutObjectX to identify your resource and the public data about it.

2. If some client dereferences this URI it would get the public data containing a RDF link like this 

http://yourDomain/resource/PublicDataAboutObjectX owl:sameAs http://yourDomain/resource/ProtectedDataAboutObjectX

3. If the client would then try to dererference http://yourDomain/resource/ProtectedDataAboutObjectX it would be asked to provide some credentials.

Using this mechanism, external data providers could also link to the protected data, for instance:

http://mydomain//resource/myResource foaf:interest
http://yourDomain/resource/ProtectedDataAboutObjectX

What do you think?

Cheers

Chris


--
Chris Bizer
Freie Universitšt Berlin
+49 30 838 54057
chris@bizer.de
www.bizer.de
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Peter Coetzee 
  To: Chris Bizer ; Matthias Samwald 
  Cc: public-lod@w3.org ; Tassilo Pellegrini ; Andreas Blumauer (Semantic Web Company) 
  Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2008 2:03 PM
  Subject: Re: Linking non-open data


  Hi all,


  On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 12:25 PM, Chris Bizer <chris@bizer.de> wrote:


    Hi Matthias,




      A question that will surely arise in many places when more people get to know about the linked data initiative and the growing infrastructure of linked open data is: how can these principles be applied to organizational data that might not / only partially be open to the public web?



    I think applying the Linked Data principles within a corporate intranet does not pose any specific requirements. It is just that the data is not accessable from the outside.

  It sounds to me like deploying linked data over an intranet would be towards the "trivial" side of solutions - what about when data is out on (dare I say, in? ;) ) the web fully, but you need to control access to it (i.e. the authentication Matthias describes). I like the idea of using standard HTTP authentication for this - it just seems like the "right" mechanism to use. One of the problems this presents though, is how to advertise the data that's available for a user. Perhaps something like the Semantic Web Sitemap Extension [1] could be used / extended to say what data is available behind this authentication, so that an agent knows whether or not it's interested in trying to find credentials for it (e.g. prompting a user)?





      People will soon try to develop practices for selectively protecting parts of their linked data with fine-grained access rights. Could simple HTTP authentication be useful for linked data?



    As Linked Data heavily relies on HTTP anyway, I think HTTP authentication should be the first choise and people having these requirements shoud check if they can go with HTTP auth.



      How does authentication work for SPARQL endpoints containing several named graphs?



    Of course you can always make things as difficult as you like. But I guess for many use cases an all-or-nothing aproach is good enough, which would allow HTTP authentication to be used again.

  If you wanted slightly more fine-grained control, I don't see any reason you can't still use HTTP auth - if you pass the authenticated user details through to whatever framework you're using on the backend to handle SPARQL, and then check "does this user have permissions" for each of the named graphs mentioned in the query.
   



      Can we use RDF vocabularies to represent access rights? Should such vocabularies be standardized?



    Sure, but I think all work in this area should be based on clearly motivated real-world use cases and collecting these use cases should be the first step before starting to define vocabularies.



      Is there any ongoing work on defining such practices (or even 'best practices')?



    There is lots of work on using RDF, OWL and different rules languages to represent access control proicies. See for instance Rei, KAoS and Protune or the SemWeb policy workshop at http://www.l3s.de/~olmedilla/events/2006/SWPW06/ , for older work also http://www4.wiwiss.fu-berlin.de/bizer/SWTSGuide/

    But I guess a lot of this will be a bit over-the-top for the common linked data use cases.

    Cheers

    Chris





      Cheers,
      Matthias Samwald

  I've given some thought to this before, but not put much down on paper yet - it occurs to me that this kind of standardisation would be a powerful component for a semantic web publishing framework of some description. I don't know if Virtuoso is playing in this space at all (other than brief sessions toggling with it from the client side, I've not really explored its potential yet!), but I've had a project on the back burner for a couple of months to try and handle some issues like this (as well as the content negotiation, and some other aspects) easily for people wishing to publish data in the semantic web. If there's likely to be some interest in such a (probably free / oss) project, I can dust it off when I get some time and see about bringing it to some kind of completion!

  Cheers,
  Peter


  [1]  -   http://sw.deri.org/2007/07/sitemapextension/
Received on Friday, 18 April 2008 03:22:28 UTC

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