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

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 14:08:30 -0400
Message-ID: <4A43BD1E.9040405@openlinksw.com>
To: Juan Sequeda <juanfederico@gmail.com>
CC: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, 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>
Juan Sequeda wrote:
> So... then from what I understand.. why bother with content 
> negotiation, right?
No, it means content negotiation is an option, albeit a tough one when 
".htaccess" and Apache are ground zero.
>
> Just do everything in RDFa, right?
Of course, if it works for your circumstances :-)

Basically, we need to tweak the Linked Data Best Practices guides and 
general messaging by adding  RDFa to the conversation -- as an *option* 
for Linked Data Deployment. I believe I expressed this sentiment a while 
back.

Kingsley
>
> 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 <http://www.juansequeda.com>
> www.semanticwebaustin.org <http://www.semanticwebaustin.org>
>
>
> On Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 7:29 PM, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us 
> <mailto: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 <mailto: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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>
>
>
>
>
>


-- 


Regards,

Kingsley Idehen	      Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Received on Thursday, 25 June 2009 18:09:10 UTC

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