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

From: Diego Berrueta Muñoz <diego.berrueta@fundacionctic.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 23:17:13 +0200
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>
Message-Id: <1302B9C8-F6D5-4136-A7F6-19D42C44E58D@fundacionctic.org>
To: Tom Heath <tom.heath@talis.com>
Hi Tom, all,

El 25/06/2009, a las 20:30, Tom Heath escribió:
> 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).

A revision of the Recipes is coming down the pipe. The new version  
will slightly improve how this issue is tackled, but it won't provide  
a complete solution. I believe the document is fair wrt this point: it  
acknowledges the problem and it provides "best effort" recipes to  
partially implement conneg using exclusively Apache directives (as  
opposed to implementing them using PHP, for instance).

I would like to emphasize that there are two different issues here:

1) the Recipes do not correctly implement conneg in its full extension  

2) the Recipes are difficult to deploy due to the inability to access  
to the .htaccess file.

 From my POV, both issues are serious, and consequently I also think  
that RDFa is a much more (1) correct and (2) user-friendly way to  
publish RDF data.



> 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

Diego Berrueta
R&D Department  -  CTIC Foundation
E-mail: diego.berrueta@fundacionctic.org
Phone: +34 984 29 12 12
Parque Científico Tecnológico Gijón-Asturias-Spain
Received on Thursday, 25 June 2009 21:18:03 UTC

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