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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 20:21:10 +0200
Message-ID: <f914914c0906251121w69d62527w708f89aca2918f40@mail.gmail.com>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.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>
Just confirming. I really want to start getting things done!
On Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 8:08 PM, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>wrote:

> 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.


 I agree. I think I had this discussion with Peter Mika and Tom Heath
before. Don't take me literally but the conclusion was that RDFa is Linked
Data once it shows up in the best practices and people know how to do it.

but oh my... it's already here:

http://ld2sd.deri.org/lod-ng-tutorial/

Thanks Michael and Richard!

>
>
> 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<http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/%7Ekidehen>
> President & CEO OpenLink Software     Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
>
>
>
>
>
Received on Thursday, 25 June 2009 18:21:51 UTC

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