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Re: Terminology when talking about Linked Data

From: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 11:20:32 +0000
To: "nathan@webr3.org" <nathan@webr3.org>, Mike Bergman <mike@mkbergman.com>
CC: Peter Ansell <ansell.peter@gmail.com>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EMEW3|4ad66b0df780289b83a545719c59f637m1GBKZ02hg|ecs.soton.ac.uk|C7A18180.103F3%hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Wow Nathan, that's an interesting set of reactions - we could go off and
discuss them, but I will give my 3 cents on the original question.

I too have difficulty with customers on the "Open" word.
Open can mean a few things, and some of the posters here seem to interpret
it to mean open standards.
My interpretation has been that the data is open; as it says at the start of
the project page [1]:
"The Open Data Movement aims at making data freely available to everyone ...
The goal of the W3C SWEO Linking Open Data community project is to extend
the Web with a data commons by publishing various open data sets as RDF on
the Web and by setting RDF links between data items from different data
So it is Linking Open Data, not something like Open Linked Data.
So personally I have used Linked Data quite a lot, sometimes as Linked Data
I take it to mean the same thing as Linking Open Data, but where the data is
not necessarily open - this is important for a customer that wants to use
the (whole) technology stack, but does not want to make their data open.
"Open" can really freak people out
I avoid Semantic Web, as that is often received as primarily doing AI.
More recently I have also badged as Web of Data; don't know if Michael
started it, but you do see it around. Sort of a good capture of the ideas.
I also talk about an application using the Unbounded Web of Data, if it
actually goes out and fetches RDF on finding links.
Finally, if I am pushed to use Semantic Web (ie that is what they come
with), I always say I work in Semantic Web Technologies.
As someone who works on the software, it can be very useful to append
technologies to whatever phrase I use:- otherwise the assumption is that the
work is primarily concerned with building ontologies or transforming
datasets, rather than infrastructure development.

I don't think that either Linked Data (Technologies) or Web of Data
addresses your problems that customers think they already have it in Web
Services; I usually talk about moving from point to point vocabularies
towards widely agreed vocabularies at that stage, and through to unbounded.


[2] http://www.webofdata.info/
[3] http://webofdata.wordpress.com/

On 17/02/2010 02:18, "Nathan" <nathan@webr3.org> wrote:

> Mike Bergman wrote:
>> Hi Nathan,
>> Though I assume not universally shared:
>> On 2/16/2010 7:32 PM, Nathan wrote:
>>> Peter Ansell wrote:
>>>> Hi Nathan,
>>>> On 17 February 2010 11:18, Nathan<nathan@webr3.org>  wrote:
>>>>> Hi All,
>>>>> Other than the obvious - Linking Open Data = The name of W3C Community
>>>>> Project - I'm wondering which terminology to use where when talking
>>>>> about (what I'll term "Linked Data" for now).
>>>>> To me, "Linked Data" represents the<uri>  <uri>  <uri>  triples; the
>>>>> thing
>>>>> at the core of it, which can be used behind the firewall in a "silo"
>>>>> with nothing open about it.
>>>>> So if I then term "Linked Open Data" as "Linked Data" which has been
>>>>> published properly, then what do I use to refer to the tech-stack and
>>>>> principals as a whole?
>>>> If it is published internally to an organisation, it may still be
>>>> Linked Data as the URI's may be resolvable internally by all people
>>>> who have any need to see the information. It may violate privacy laws
>>>> for example for the information to be publically available.
>>>> I wouldn't so much refer to it as "properly" published, as
>>>> "publically" published.
>> Linked data is a set of best practices for publishing and deploying
>> instance and class data using the RDF data model. Two of the best
>> practices are to name the data objects using uniform resource
>> identifiers (URIs), and to expose the data for access via the HTTP
>> protocol. Both of these practices enable the Web to become a distributed
>> database, which also means that Web architectures can also be readily
>> employed.
>> It is not an end in itself, a manifesto for "open data", or a substitute
>> for the semantic Web.  It is a useful and recommended practice
>> (technique), but nothing more [1]. ;)
>> Mike
>> [1] http://structureddynamics.com/linked_data.html
> would agree; so far all the responses have been different ways of saying
> what "linked data" is; which i agree with wholeheartedly; but further
> down the in-line comments you'll find the specific problem I'm facing.
>>>> What is the context in which you need to make the distinction?
>>> The context is purely in discussion format; when I'm talking about
>>> "Linked Data" - if I first explain it to mean "linked data"; then talk
>>> about it being made public as "linked open data" (leaving the
>>> private/public what to publish bit out of it) then to what do I refer to
>>> the overall tech-stack as? everything that comes with it eg:
>>>   - Linked Data, RDF, SPARQL, REST, Quad-Stores, REST, Ontologies, OWL2,
>>> A name for the above as a whole.
> Two people thus far have said "semantic web" with some extra words;
> here's the exact problem I'm facing - linked data is what it is, easily
> explained. But the "Semantic Web (enabling) technologies" (which was
> suggested to me off-list) brings up the following problems.
> when I refer to "semantic web" 50% of people think I mean HTML5 or H1-H6
> tags, and the other 50% think I mean the stuff returned from open
> calais. (strangely!)
> and last time I said "linked open data"; well here's the response I
> received:
> "The whole thing about mash-ups/linked data is odd. No one is
> generating any data. Just reusing/repackaging/rebranding. In hardware
> terms, they are VARs. And whilst VARs may be cheaper, they aren't
> often better them OEMs."
> other responses to the mention of the term "linked open data" were all
> along the lines of "it lets you get information from lots of places" aka
> web services aka I don't need linked open data and the semantic web
> technologies because I work internally within a silo which only calls on
> SOAP web service from the supplier.
> At no point have I had a term I could use to which people went - "ahh
> what's that, do tell me more"
> Hope that helps explain where I'm coming from, and to clarify further
> this is for use when talking to general web developers and designers -
> any mention of this to plumbers and window cleaners I find ends up in
> them looking at me like I just broke wind (as Billy Connolly would say).
> Regards & thanks thus far!
> Nathan
Received on Wednesday, 17 February 2010 11:21:12 UTC

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