W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > September 2009

Re: Making human-friendly linked data pages more human-friendly (was: dbpedia not very visible, nor fun)

From: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 23:20:28 +0100
To: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>, Matthias Samwald <samwald@gmx.at>
CC: "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EMEW3|edca6ba3a5a030c0df46e26a2c0e154dl8ENKe02hg|ecs.soton.ac.uk|72C%hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
I agree with Richard and think I also agree with Matthias.
We do need to have nice publishing of our Linked Data.
But I really don't see why it should be the publisher of the Linked Data
that (yet again) bears the brunt of the work.
And of course they are likely to do a less than great job, not being UI
They are better spending their time doing what they are good at - publishing

I almost use zitgist as the standard html publisher of my LD (and certainly
link to it), and I am sure that a greater effort to provide top quality
generic browsers that do the simple things well would obviate the need for
me to provide anything of my own (other than the metametadata to inform the
There are related technologies such as fresnel that could inform the process
(we publish fresnel descriptions for many our Things).

It's time we had more specialists in LD, eg people who specialise in:
publishing LD;
defining ontologies;
identifying linkage;
consuming LD.


On 15/09/2009 12:46, "Richard Cyganiak" <richard@cyganiak.de> wrote:

> Hi Matthias,
> Please allow me to present a contrarian argument.
> First, there are some datasets that combine linked data output with a
> traditional website, e.g., by embedding some RDFa markup. Of course,
> in that case, all the rules of good web design and information
> presentation still apply, and the site has to first and foremost
> fulfill the visitor's information needs in order to be successful.
> That's self-evident and not what we are talking about here.
> Most linked data is different. The main purpose is not to create a web
> site where visitors go to look up stuff. The main purpose is to
> publish data in a re-usable way, in order to allow repurposing of the
> data in new applications.
> In that case, the "audience" for the human-readable versions of the
> RDF data is *not* a visitor that came to the site while googling for
> some bit of information. It's more likely to be a data analyst, mashup
> developer, or integration engineer. So what I suggest is to think of
> these pages not as something that end users see, but rather as
> something akin to Javadoc. Javadoc pages are auto-generated pages that
> describe a public interface of your system. Linked data pages are the
> same, but rather than a Java API, they describe your URI space. And
> unlike Javadoc, they are directly connected to the documented
> artifacts (URIs).
> I think that the pages should mostly answer the following questions:
> What concept is identified? What *exactly* is the URI of this concept
> (careful with /html or #this at the end)? Who curates this identifier?
> Can I trust it to be stable? Most linked data pages actually do a
> fairly decent job at answering these.
> Every data publisher has limited resources, and spending them on
> prettifying the HTML views is very low-impact. It's much more
> important to increase data quality, publish more data,  improve other
> documentation, and create compelling demos/apps on top of the data.
> The "namespace documentation" is usually good enough, and the
> geekiness of the pages actually helps to drive home the point that
> it's about *re-using this data elsewhere*, rather than looking at the
> data in the boring old web browser.
> That being said, of course nicer-looking pages that present
> information in a more useful way are of course always better, but
> that's a somewhat secondary problem in the linked data context.
> Best,
> Richard
> On 15 Sep 2009, at 10:08, Matthias Samwald wrote:
>> A central idea of linked data is, in my understanding, that every
>> resource has not only a HTTP - resolvable RDF description of itself,
>> but also a human-friendly rendering that can be viewed in a web
>> browser. With the increasing popularity of RDFa, the URIs of these
>> resources are not only hidden away in triplestores, but become
>> increasingly exposed on web pages. People want to click on them,
>> and, hopefully, not all of these people come from the core community
>> of RDF enthusiasts.
>> This means that the HTML rendering of linked data resources might
>> need to look a bit sexier than it does today. I dare to say that the
>> Pubby-esque rendering of DBpedia pages such as
>> http://dbpedia.org/page/Primary_motor_cortex
>> is helpful to get a quick overview of the RDF triples about this
>> resource, but non-RDF-enthusiasts would not find it very inviting.
>> This could be improved by changes in the layout, and possibly a
>> manually curated ordering of properties. For example,
>> http://d.opencalais.com/er/company/ralg-tr1r/f8a13a13-8dbc-3d7e-82b6-1d796847
>> 6cae.html
>> definitely looks more inviting than the typical DBpedia page (albeit
>> still a bit sterile).
>> In the case of DBpedia, it might be better to expose the excellent
>> human-readable Wikipedia page for each resource, plus a prominently
>> positioned 'show raw data' tab at the top. For other linked data
>> resources that are not derived from existing human-friendly web
>> pages, a few stylistic changes (ala OpenCalais) already might
>> improve the situation a lot.
>> Note that this comment is not intended to be a criticism of DBpedia,
>> but of all Linked Data resources that expose HTML descriptions of
>> resources. DBpedia is just the most popular example.
>> Cheers,
>> Matthias Samwald
>> DERI Galway, Ireland
>> http://deri.ie/
>> Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution & Cognition Research, Austria
>> http://kli.ac.at/
>> --------------------------------------------------
>> From: "Danny Ayers" <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
>> Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 4:03 AM
>> To: <public-lod@w3.org>
>> Subject: dbpedia not very visible, nor fun
>>> It seems I have a Wikipedia page in my name (ok, I only did fact-
>>> check
>>> edits, ok!?). So tonight I went looking for the corresponding
>>> triples,
>>> looking for my ultimate URI...
>>> Google "dbpedia" => front page, with news
>>> on the list on the left is "Online Access"
>>> what do you get?
>>> [[
>>> The DBpedia data set can be accessed online via a SPARQL query
>>> endpoint and as Linked Data.
>>> Contents
>>> 1. Querying DBpedia
>>> 1.1. Public SPARQL Endpoint
>>> 1.2. Public Faceted Web Service Interface
>>> 1.3. Example queries displayed with the Berlin SNORQL query explorer
>>> 1.4. Examples rendering DBpedia Data with Google Map
>>> 1.5. Example displaying DBpedia Data with Exhibit
>>> 1.6. Example displaying DBpedia Data with gFacet
>>> 2. Linked Data
>>> 2.1. Background
>>> 2.2. The DBpedia Linked Data Interface
>>> 2.3. Sample Resources
>>> 2.4. Sample Views of 2 Sample DBpedia Resources
>>> 3. Semantic Web Crawling Sitemap
>>> ]]
>>> Yeah. Unless you're a triplehead none of these will mean a thing.
>>> Even
>>> then it's not obvious.
>>> Could someone please stick something more rewarding near the top! I
>>> don't know, maybe a Google-esque text entry form field for a regex on
>>> the SPARQL. Anything but blurb.
>>> Even being relatively familiar with the tech, I still haven't a clue
>>> how to take my little query (do I have a URI here?) forward.
>>> Presentation please.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Danny.
>>> -- 
>>> http://danny.ayers.name
Received on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 22:21:23 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 15:16:00 UTC