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Re: .htaccess a major bottleneck to Semantic Web adoption / Was: Re: RDFa vs RDF/XML and content negotiation

From: Juan Sequeda <juanfederico@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 19:39:51 +0200
Message-ID: <f914914c0906251039y1e122ce6xb8675d59755429dd@mail.gmail.com>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org, Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>, bill.roberts@planet.nl, public-lod@w3.org, semantic-web at W3C <semantic-web@w3c.org>
So... then from what I understand.. why bother with content negotiation,
right?

Just do everything in RDFa, right?

We are planning to deploy soon the linked data version of Turn2Live.com. And
we are in the discussion of doing the content negotiation (a la BBC). But if
we can KISS, then all we should do is RDFa, right?

Juan Sequeda, Ph.D Student
Dept. of Computer Sciences
The University of Texas at Austin
www.juansequeda.com
www.semanticwebaustin.org


On Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 7:29 PM, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us> wrote:

>
> On Jun 25, 2009, at 11:44 AM, Martin Hepp (UniBW) wrote:
>
>  Hi all:
>>
>> After about two months of helping people generate RDF/XML metadata for
>> their businesses using the GoodRelations annotator [1],
>> I have quite some evidence that the current best practices of using
>> .htaccess are a MAJOR bottleneck for the adoption of Semantic Web
>> technology.
>>
>
> I agree, and raised this issue with the W3C TAG some time ago. It was
> apparently not taken seriously. The general consensus seemed to be that any
> normal adult should be competent to manipulate an Apache server. My own
> company, however, refuses to allow its employees to have access to .htaccess
> files, and I am therefore quite unable to conform to the current best
> practice from my own work situation. I believe that this situation is not
> uncommon.
>
> Pat Hayes
>
>
>> Just some data:
>> - We have several hundred entries in the annotator log - most people spend
>> 10 or more minutes to create a reasonable description of themselves.
>> - Even though they all operate some sort of Web sites, less than 30 % of
>> them manage to upload/publish a single *.rdf file in their root directory.
>> - Of those 30%, only a fraction manage to set up content negotiation
>> properly, even though we provide a step-by-step recipe.
>>
>> The effects are
>> - URIs that are not dereferencable,
>> - incorrect media types and
>> and other problems.
>>
>> When investigating the causes and trying to help people, we encountered a
>> variety of configurations and causes that we did not expect. It turned out
>> that helping people just managing this tiny step of publishing  Semantic Web
>> data would turn into a full-time job for 1 - 2 administrators.
>>
>> Typical causes of problems are
>> - Lack of privileges for .htaccess (many cheap hosting packages give
>> limited or no access to .htaccess)
>> - Users without Unix background had trouble name a file so that it begins
>> with a dot
>> - Microsoft IIS require completely different recipes
>> - Many users have access just at a CMS level
>>
>> Bottomline:
>> - For researchers in the field, it is a doable task to set up an Apache
>> server so that it serves RDF content according to current best practices.
>> - For most people out there in reality, this is regularly a prohibitively
>> difficult task, both because of a lack of skills and a variety in the
>> technical environments that turns into an engineering challenge what is easy
>> on the textbook-level.
>>
>> As a consequence, we will modify our tool so that it generates "dummy"
>> RDFa code with span/div that *just* represents the meta-data without
>> interfering with the presentation layer.
>> That can then be inserted as code snippets via copy-and-paste to any XHTML
>> document.
>>
>> Any opinions?
>>
>> Best
>> Martin
>>
>> [1]  http://www.ebusiness-unibw.org/tools/goodrelations-annotator/
>>
>> Danny Ayers wrote:
>>
>>> Thank you for the excellent questions, Bill.
>>>
>>> Right now IMHO the best bet is probably just to pick whichever format
>>> you are most comfortable with (yup "it depends") and use that as the
>>> single source, transforming perhaps with scripts to generate the
>>> alternate representations for conneg.
>>>
>>> As far as I'm aware we don't yet have an easy templating engine for
>>> RDFa, so I suspect having that as the source is probably a good choice
>>> for typical Web applications.
>>>
>>> As mentioned already GRDDL is available for transforming on the fly,
>>> though I'm not sure of the level of client engine support at present.
>>> Ditto providing a SPARQL endpoint is another way of maximising the
>>> surface area of the data.
>>>
>>> But the key step has clearly been taken, that decision to publish data
>>> directly without needing the human element to interpret it.
>>>
>>> I claim *win* for the Semantic Web, even if it'll still be a few years
>>> before we see applications exploiting it in a way that provides real
>>> benefit for the end user.
>>>
>>> my 2 cents.
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>> Danny.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>> --
>> --------------------------------------------------------------
>> martin hepp
>> e-business & web science research group
>> universitaet der bundeswehr muenchen
>>
>> e-mail:  mhepp@computer.org
>> phone:   +49-(0)89-6004-4217
>> fax:     +49-(0)89-6004-4620
>> www:     http://www.unibw.de/ebusiness/ (group)
>>       http://www.heppnetz.de/ (personal)
>> skype:   mfhepp twitter: mfhepp
>>
>> Check out the GoodRelations vocabulary for E-Commerce on the Web of Data!
>> ========================================================================
>>
>> Webcast:
>> http://www.heppnetz.de/projects/goodrelations/webcast/
>>
>> Talk at the Semantic Technology Conference 2009: "Semantic Web-based
>> E-Commerce: The GoodRelations Ontology"
>> http://tinyurl.com/semtech-hepp
>>
>> Tool for registering your business:
>> http://www.ebusiness-unibw.org/tools/goodrelations-annotator/
>>
>> Overview article on Semantic Universe:
>> http://tinyurl.com/goodrelations-universe
>>
>> Project page and resources for developers:
>> http://purl.org/goodrelations/
>>
>> Tutorial materials:
>> Tutorial at ESWC 2009: The Web of Data for E-Commerce in One Day: A
>> Hands-on Introduction to the GoodRelations Ontology, RDFa, and Yahoo!
>> SearchMonkey
>>
>> http://www.ebusiness-unibw.org/wiki/GoodRelations_Tutorial_ESWC2009
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> <martin_hepp.vcf>
>>
>
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Received on Thursday, 25 June 2009 17:40:32 UTC

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