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

From: Tom Heath <tom.heath@talis.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 19:30:12 +0100
Message-ID: <89f622f10906251130q7a2f3f12t71f9a767ae8bdd7c@mail.gmail.com>
To: martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org
Cc: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>, bill.roberts@planet.nl, public-lod@w3.org, semantic-web at W3C <semantic-web@w3c.org>
Hi Martin, all,

2009/6/25 Martin Hepp (UniBW) <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>:
> 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.

Are you referring to the best practices at [1]? Unfortunately the
recipes in that document that use .htaccess and mod_rewrite for conneg
no longer count as best practices, precisely due to mod_rewrite and
.htaccess not being adequate for the conneg/303-redirects pattern.
This has been a known issue since WWW2007 at least, and documented at
[2] in July 2007. As far as I know, that recipes document hasn't yet
been updated/deprecated :( (please someone correct me if I'm wrong).

The easiest pattern I've found is to use a RewriteRule to catch all
incoming requests and pass them through a small PHP script that
examines the Accept header and sends back 303s (or 200s) as
appropriate. The code is about 6 lines; I'll publish it somewhere if I
didn't already.

Admittedly, this doesn't solve the problem of access to .htaccess
files. This bottleneck sounds to me like someone circa mid-1990s
saying "my sysadmins won't let me have access to space on the web
server". I guess we need to use lessons learned from that era to
address the problems of this one. Anyway fancy doing a Linked Data for
Sysadmins tutorial at a sysadmin conference?

Cheers,

Tom.

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/swbp-vocab-pub/
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-swbp-wg/2007Jul/0001.html
Received on Thursday, 25 June 2009 18:30:55 UTC

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