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Re: Comments on Data 3.0 manifesto

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2010 16:51:27 -0400
Message-ID: <4BCA1F4F.6080609@openlinksw.com>
To: John Erickson <olyerickson@gmail.com>
CC: public-lod@w3.org
John Erickson wrote:
> Hi Kingsley!
> Reading between the lines, I think I grok where you are trying to go
> with your "manifesto." For it to be an effective, stand-alone document
> I think a few pieces are needed:
> 1. What is your GOAL? It should be clearly stated, something like, "to
> promote best-practices for standards-compliant access to structured
> data object (or entity) descriptors by getting data architects to do X
> instead of Y," etc.

Okay, I'll see what I can do.

This document is really a continuation of a document that's actually 
missing from the Web, sadly.

A long time ago (start of Web 2.0), there was a Data 2.0 manifesto by 
Alex James (now at Microsoft), so in classic two-fer fashion I've opted 
to kill two birds with a single stone:

1. Linked Data incomprehension (Technical and Political)

2. Data 2.0 manifesto upgrade and update.

> 2. What is your MOTIVATION? I think this is implicit in your current
> text --- your argument seems to be that TBL's "Four Principles" are
> not enough --- but you need to make your motivations explicit and
> JUSTIFY them. If TBL's principles are too nebulous, explain concisely
> why and what the implications are. Keep in mind that they seem to be
> "good enough" for many practitioners today. ;)
My motivation is simply this: Get RDF out of the way! 

The "RDF incomprehension cloud" is only second to what's heading across 
Northern Europe from Iceland, re. obscuring a myriad of routes to Linked 
Data comprehension.

How can we spend 12+ years on the basic issue of EAV + de-referencable 
identifiers? Compounded by poor monikers such as: Information Resource 
and Non-Information Resource. We have Data Objects (Entities, Data Items 
etc.) and their associated Descriptor Documents (Representation Carriers 
or Senses), its always been so!

Note,  RDF "the Data Model" doesn't exist in the minds of the broader 
Web audience (I am not sending an inbound meme to the Semantic Web 
Community, my meme is being beamed to a wider audience that's taking way 
to long to grok the essence of the Linked Data matter).

I (and many others) are utterly fed up with trying to accentuate the 
fact that RDF is based on a Graph Data Model. The initial "RDF/XML is 
RDF" conflation has dealt a fatal blow to RDF re., broad audience 

EAV has been with us forever, people already use applications that are 
based on this model, across all major operating systems. Why not 
triangulate from this position (top down) instead of bottom up (which 
ultimately reeks of NIH rather than a Cool Tweak)?

> 3. Be SPECIFIC about what practitioners must do moving forward. I
> think you've made a good start on this, to the extent that you have
> lots of "SHOULDS." I would argue that more specificity of a different
> kind is needed; if data architects SHOULD be following more abstract
> EAV conceptualizations, what exactly should they do in practice?

Hmm.. will see what I can do.

This is a seed document (I hope). Anyone (including yourself) should be 
able to add perspective to it etc.. 
> Finally, on the deeper question of motivation, I suggest that while a
> historical argument can be made that RDF is likely a subset or special
> case of EAV, the community has developed convenient and familiar
> languages for expressing RDF (such as N3 and Turtle); practitioners
> are much less familiar with EAV. Does the community really lose
> anything by using RDF as its shorthand?
RDF is a variant of EAV courtesy of Generic HTTP scheme Identifiers for 

Nothing in what I am saying or seeking dislocates RDF from the big 
picture here. It just isn't the item for starting conversations with 
people outside the Semantic Web Community (still very small in the grand 
scale of things).

I am simply seeking to extend the picture (coherently) without 
unnecessary RDF specificity.

OData, GData, Core Data, are all EAV model based, in the very worst case 
they make RDF based Linked Data easier to generate, thus a win-win. 
Sadly, that isn't how these other EAV based approaches are perceived, 
the gut instinct is to pick them apart as not conforming to the RDF 
based Linked Data principles (btw -- when TimBL added RDF and SPARQL to 
the meme, he basically put a crack in the pot IMHO).

> Perhaps you can suggest a pattern within current RDF practice that
> more strongly enforces EAV principles?
RDF is all fine re. EAV. 

It about getting other communities (e.g. WEb 2.0) to adopt and exploit 
EAV via use of de-referencable Identifiers (Names).

What I am hoping is that we just tweak how we introduce Linked Data, 
establish the fact that we have a common data model at the base, a model 
that we already use (in our heads) and across almost every application 
we've worked with to date. Then show how Linked Data is ultimately about 
deconstructing application data silos so that we have a much richer 
corpus of structured data, across a myriad of boundaries (application, 
OS, network etc..), that amenable to "data meshing" rather than "data 

IMHO. The Linked Data Value Proposition and Elevator Pitch is simply 
this: Individual and/or Enterprise Agility via Data Silo Deconstruction.

> John
> On Sat, Apr 17, 2010 at 12:37 PM, Kingsley Idehen
> <kidehen@openlinksw.com> wrote:
>> Richard Cyganiak wrote:
>>> Hi Kingsley,
>>> Regarding your blog post at
>>> http://www.openlinksw.com/dataspace/kidehen@openlinksw.com/weblog/kidehen@openlinksw.com%27s%20BLOG%20%5B127%5D/1624
>>> Great job -- I like it a lot, it's not as fuzzy as Tim's four principles,
>>> not as mired in detail as most of the concrete literature around linked
>>> data, and on the right level of abstraction to explain why we need to do
>>> certain things in linked data in a certain way. It's also great for
>>> comparing the strengths and weaknesses of different data exchange stacks.
>> Thanks, happy its resonating.
>> RDF has inadvertently caused mass distraction away from the fact that a
>> common Data Model is the key to meshing heterogeneous data sources. People
>> just don't "buy" or "grok" the data model aspect of RDF, so why continue
>> fighting this battle, when all we want is mass comprehension, however we get
>> there.
>>> A few comments:
>>> 1. I'd like to see mentioned that identifiers should have global scope.
>> Yes, will add that emphasis for sure. I guess "Network" might not
>> necessarily emphasize that strongly enough.
>>> 2. I'd prefer a list of the parts of a 3-tuple that reads:
>>>     - an Identifier that names an Entity
>>>     - an Identifier that names an Attribute
>>>     - an Attribute Value, which may be an Identifier or a Literal (typed
>>> or untyped).
>>>   This avoids using the new terms “Entity Identifier” and “Attribute
>>> Identifier”.
>> No problem.
>>> 3. “Structured Descriptions SHOULD be borne by Descriptor Resources” -- I
>>> think this one is incomprehensible, because “to bear” is such an unusual
>>> verb and has no clear connotations in technical circles. I'd encourage a
>>> different phrasing.
>> Will think about that, getting the right phrase here is is challenging, so I
>> am naturally open to suggestions etc..
>>> 3b. Any chance of talking you into using “Descriptor Document” rather than
>>> “Descriptor Resource”?
>> No problem, "Descriptor Document" it is :-)
>>> 4. One thing that's left unclear: Can a Descriptor Resource carry multiple
>>> Structured Entity Descriptions or just a single one?
>> Descriptor Documents are compound in that they can describe a single Entity
>> or a Collection.
>>> 5. Putting each term in quotes when first introduced is a good idea and
>>> helps -- you did it for the first few terms but then stopped.
>> Writers exhaustion I guess, will fix.
>>> 6. I'm tempted to add somewhere, “Descriptor Resources are Entities
>>> themselves.” But this might be a purposeful omission on your part?
>> Yes, this is deliberate because I am trying to say: "Referent" is the
>> "Thing" you describe by giving it a "Name" so, anything can be a "Referent"
>> including a "Document" (which has always been problematic in general RDF
>> realm work e.g. the failure to make links between  a ".rdf" Descriptor
>> Document and the actual "Entity Descriptions" they contain etc. via
>> "primarytopic", "describedby", and other relations.
>>> 7. The last point talks about a “Structured Representation” of the
>>> Referent's Structured Description. The term hasn't been introduced.
>>> Shouldn't this just read “Descriptor Resource carrying the Referent's
>>> Structured Description”?
>> Yes, so basically this is: s/bear/carry/g  :-)
>>> What's your preferred name for the entire thing? I'm tempted to call it
>>> “Kingsley's networked EAV model” or something like that. Do you insist on
>>> “Data 3.0”?
>> Well EAV is old, and one of my real inspirations for hamming its relevance
>> to Linked Data is the fact that over the years I spoken with too many people
>> that grok EAV but never connected it to the Semantic Web Project, or the
>> more recent Linked Data meme.
>> Imagine talking to founders of companies like Ingres, Informix, MySQL etc..,
>> and witnessing them not making the EAV model connection; especially when you
>> can't actually write a DBMS engine without comprehension of EAV,
>> Identifiers, and Data representation (simple or complex data structure). How
>> ironic!
>>> Best,
>>> Richard
>> Thanks for the great feedback, I think we're getting closer to the global
>> epiphany we all seek !!
>> --
>> Regards,
>> Kingsley Idehen       President & CEO OpenLink Software     Web:
>> http://www.openlinksw.com
>> Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
>> Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen



Kingsley Idehen	      
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     
Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen 
Received on Saturday, 17 April 2010 20:51:56 UTC

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