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

From: Martin Hepp (UniBW) <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 21:26:31 +0200
Message-ID: <4A43CF67.7050808@ebusiness-unibw.org>
To: John Graybeal <graybeal@mbari.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 John:
We also thought of hosting meta-data for the users, but I don't like 
that because I want the shop operators to feel ownership for the data:
If the opening hours expressed in RDF are wrong but on the personal Web 
page of that restaurant, anybody facing closed doors will blame the 
restaurant.
If the outdated opening hours in RDF are on my SW server, the unlucky 
customer will blame the Semantic Web for having crappy data.

So maybe the snippet solution in RDFa is the best.

Best
Martin


John Graybeal wrote:
> This is a principal reason MMI decided to offer a vocabulary server 
> for its community. The idea that 1000 different providers would all 
> develop a level of web competency (for which there is evidence at only 
> a minority of providers) for serving their RDF and OWL content -- let 
> alone the capability to do versioning, adopt best practices, learn 
> SKOS, and whatever other nuances are called for -- seemed like a 
> non-starter.
>
> This is not exactly the same problem you're facing, but something to 
> consider (if the model allows it) is creating a way to serve the 
> annotations from another place than the host institution.  The 
> institution can refer to those served files from their own sites, and 
> even update them remotely, but not have to incur all the management 
> overhead as standards improve, files change, authorship changes, etc.
>
> (Which is not to disagree with your plan either. That sounds fine.)
>
> One other delivery model could be for them to give you an existing 
> HTML, you give them back the modified HTML (saves them cutting and 
> pasting steps?).
>
> I'm a little ignorant on your tools and processes, so apologies if 
> these are non-starters.
>
> John
>
>
> On Jun 25, 2009, at 9:44 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.
>>
>> 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>
>
>
> John
>
> --------------
> John Graybeal   <mailto:graybeal@mbari.org>  -- 831-775-1956
> Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
> Marine Metadata Interoperability Project: http://marinemetadata.org
>
>
>

-- 
--------------------------------------------------------------
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





Received on Thursday, 25 June 2009 19:43:50 UTC

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