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Standards Based Data Access Reality

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2010 15:02:08 -0400
Message-ID: <4BC21CB0.1030906@openlinksw.com>
To: public-lod <public-lod@w3.org>
Giovanni Tummarello wrote:
> +1 thanks Nathan for pointing this out, very very relevant.
> "luckly" so far it seems a bit too rooted in MS stack of things (just
> looking at it very very superficially) :-)?
> Gio
>> ps: realistically there's the whole microsoft thing to keep in the back
>> of our minds; they have pretty much a semi-proprietary full end to end
>> of most of the above, from M through OData through Pivot via silverlight
>> and seadragon - and realistically by 2011 this will be starting to take
>> off in a big way; there is a chance "linked data" could miss the boat
>> and become nothing more than legacy data which people transform in to
>> odata then use on the (by then) well supported and rolled out tech stack.
>> pps: google are pushing in this direction too, it won't be long before
>> we get a big surprise from their end (gdata + openid + oauth +
>> gmail/buzz-additions + chromium-os + chrome + android + comparatively
>> unlimited resources and thousands of amazing developers + a huge
>> developer community)
>> regardless of what anybody says, these two companies will push there own
>> versions of what we're doing out within the next 12-18 months, with full
>> developer support.
>> please do remember I'm a huge linked data fan & have my interests firmly
>> planted in linked data + read/write web - just aware of the realities at
>> hand.
>> regards!

Hopefully, you understand what Nathan is articulating (ditto Giovanni). 
If not, simply step back and as yourself a basic question: What is 
Linked Data About?

Is it about markup? Is it about Data Access? Is it about a never ending 
cycle of subjective commentary and cognitive dissonance that serves to 
alienate and fragment a community that desperately needs clarity and 

Experience and history reveal the following to me:

1. Standards based data access is about to be inflected in a major way
2. The EAV (Entity-Attribute-Value) graph model is the new focal point 
of Data Access (covering CRUD operations).

Microsoft, Google, and Apple grok the reality above in a myriad of ways 
via somewhat proprietary offerings (this community should really learn 
to look closer via objective context lenses). Note, "proprietary" is 
going to mean less and less since their initiatives are HTTP based i.e., 
it's all about hypermedia resources bearing EAV model data 
representations -- with varying degrees of fidelity.

Players and EAV approaches:

1. Microsoft -- OData (ditto using Atom+Feed extension based data 

2. Google -- GData (EAV with Atom+Feed based data representation)

3. RDF based Linked Data -- (RDF variant of EAV plus a plethora of data 
representation formats that are pegged to RDF moniker)

4. Apple -- Core Data (the oldest of the lot from a very proprietary 
company, this is basically a EAV store built using SQLite, until 
recently you couldn't extend the storage engine aspect) .

Reality re. Business of Linked Data:

"Data as a Service" (DaaS) is the first step i.e., entity oriented 
structured data substrate based on the EAV model. In a nutshell, when 
you have structured data place, data meshing replaces data mashing.  
Monikers aside, entrepreneurs, CTOs, and CIOs already grok this reality 
in their own realm specific ways.

Microsoft in particular, already groks data access (they developed their 
chops eons ago via ODBC). In recently times, they've groked EAV model as 
mechanism for concrete Conceptual Model Level data access, and they are 
going unleash an avalanche of polished EAV based applications courtesy 
of their vast developer network. Of course, Google and Apple will follow 
suit, naturally.

The LOD Community and broader Semantic Web Problem (IMHO):

History is a very good and kind teacher, make it an integral part of 
what you do and the path forward becomes less error prone. A message 
that hasn't resonated thus far, in my personal experience.

Today, I see a community rife with cognitive dissonance and desires to 
define a non existent "absolute truth" with regards to what constitutes 
an "Application" or "Killer Application". Ironically, has there never 
been a point in history where the phrase: Killer Application, wasn't 
retrospective? Are we going to miraculously change this, now?

Has there ever been a segment in the market place (post emergence of 
Client-Server partitioning) where if you didn't make both the Client and 
the Server, the conclusion was: we have nothing?

We can continue postulating about what constitutes an application, but 
be rest assured, Microsoft, Google, Apple (in that order), are priming 
up for precise execution with regards to opportunities in the emerging 
EAV based Linked Data realm. They have:

1. Polished Clients
2. Vast User Networks
3. Vast Integrator Networks
4. Vast Developer Networks
5. Bottom-less cash troves
6. Very smart people.

In my experience, combining the above has never resulted in failure, 
even if the deliverable contains little bits of impurity.

Invest a little more time in understanding the history of our industry 
instead of trying to reinvent it wholesale. As Colin Powell articulated 
re. the IRAQ war: If You Break The Pot, You Own It!

Folks, we are just part of an innovation continuum, nothing is new under 
the sun bar, context !!



Kingsley Idehen	      
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     
Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen 
Received on Sunday, 11 April 2010 19:02:36 UTC

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